INDEPENDENT NEWS

NZ Upgrade Includes Big Wins For Auckland

Published: Fri 4 Jun 2021 10:44 AM
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says he’s pleased that the changes in the New Zealand Upgrade Programme have sustained the level of infrastructure investment in Auckland despite cost pressures faced by the government.
“Big increases in construction costs and property purchases, and the need to achieve climate change objectives, have resulted in changes to how money is being spent,” he says.
“Two Auckland projects have been scaled down but there are also big wins for Auckland.
“Despite engineering challenges preventing the original plans for a SkyPath on the Auckland Harbour Bridge for walking and cycling, that connection will still go ahead as a standalone bridge. This is significantly more costly but it is a sustainable and enduring solution that will benefit the city for generations.
“The Northern Pathway is a vital link in the walking and cycling network across Auckland. It will be well used by people commuting, particularly with the increasing uptake of electric bikes. It will also be popular with tourists and for recreational use by Aucklanders.
“I also welcome the extra investment going into rail services, with an additional rail station confirmed at Paerata and electrification and a third main rail trunk line locked in for the south.
“Additional money will go into transport infrastructure in Drury and will help unlock the provision of more housing.
“People in the north will be pleased to see Penlink confirmed as going ahead.
“With the doubling in cost for Mill Road, the project has been hugely scaled back. However, safety improvements and enhancements to the northern section of the road will go ahead.
“Transport Minister Michael Wood faced a huge challenge with having to deal with the reality of massive cost increases in construction after the outbreak of COVID-19, as well as the critical need to take further steps in response to growing carbon emissions.
“The changes won’t please everyone, but he has worked hard to find the best solution.
“The new package locks in nearly $4 billion worth of important transport projects for Auckland and I welcome that,” Phil Goff said.

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