The other day I took a trip out to Manukau to have a look at the station and made a stop at Ellerslie to see how things had progressed but I also made on other transport related stop (it was actually between the two mentioned). Auckland Transport held an open day in Pakuranga to update the community on what was happening with with AMETI. The key information was that AT have now confirmed where the South Eastern Urban Busway would go once it got to the Eastern side of the Tamaki River. They had confirmed in December that the busway would be build on the northern side of Lagoon Dr and that a new bridge would be built over the river exclusively for the busway as well as pedestrians and cycles.

The new Panmure bridge, complete with 80's style American buses

Once across the bridge AT have now confirmed that the busway will run along the Northern side of Pakuranga Rd until it gets to Ti Rakau Dr where it will then turn south. At the Pakuranga town centre and in the current carpark for the mall will be a major busway station. From there the busway will head down Ti Rakau Dr where it will run down the middle of the road. There will also be bus lanes that carry on along Pakuranga Rd up towards Highland Park.

Note: The Yellow dots are signalised intersections and the blue boxes are bus stops/stations

And some images of the busway and stops along Pakuranga Rd

And the central busway on Ti Rakau Dr

I do like the busway plans and they are a big improvement on what has been suggested in the past and I also overheard locals saying how much they liked it. There is downside to all of this though, the biggest and what I think will be most opposed part of the project is a plan to build a flyover down Reeves Rd. The intention is to divert all through traffic around the back of Pakuranga, over the flyover and directly on to Pakuranga Highway thereby avoiding the Ti Rakau Dr intersection and also avoiding the busway. The problem though is that flyovers tend to be extremely ugly things that dominate their location and cities around the world are removing them where ever possible. AT claim it will enhance the pedestrian realm but I can’t see it.

And here is an image of the flyover from one of the information boards they had.

AT are starting to put quite a bit of information up on their website which is great to see and they have now put up the information boards that they showed. They have also posted a couple of videos of how the busway would look. The first one is a bit lower quality but flies through the project while the second one shows how some of the stops would work in a bit more detail

Also pleasing is that the busway stops at the Panmure station appear to be right outside the station now rather than a few hundred metres down the road

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  1. Wow amazing to see how far AMETI has come since the bad old early days of it being an Eastern Highway zombie project.

    1. Yep, a vast improvement. I was also told that they are working improving how the new road comes out onto Merton Rd as just dumping all of that traffic there isn’t an ideal solution.

      The other thing that I would be interested in is how much space it takes up, I would love to see that central busway part, with a single general traffic lane either side of it used down Dominion Rd.

    2. I think something like that was looked at for Dominion Road, but there simply wasn’t enough space. Though the space issue might not have been so severe if the local businesses weren’t so obsessed with retaining on-street parking.

  2. I don’t think that the flyover is that bad. It’s quite similar to the one that goes over Sylvia Park, really. That one doesn’t really detract from the area. I think, if they construct it well enough, it should be ok. One of the new overpasses they’ve built in Hamilton has some pretty cool lighting underneath it (it goes purple at night). If they have some good lighting under this one, it shouldn’t be too bad…

      1. The one in Hamilton? It’s not open yet, it’s part of the Te Rapa section of the expressway. It has 4 lanes under it, and two on top, if I’m not mistaken.

  3. Oh I hope that flyover like that inst the final idea. I use that road every weekday and yes the traffic is bad in the mornings but a four lane flyover doesnt seem like it fits in. In Sylvia park the shopping centre is surrounded by light industry, not residential housing. The reason traffic is bad along reeves road is because the one lane from the pakuranga road that gets cars to the Pakuranga highway backs up and everybody drives through the back roads by elm park to get to Reeves Road

      1. How nice of you to say that the houses on the west side are going so William Roberts Rd will no longer be residential, BUT what about all the housing on the east side. Surprise but people will still be there including me and my family. We will be closest to the Pakuranga road and the flyover and will have to access William Roberts via a right of way.

  4. If the busway is as successful as it’s northern counterpart, are they still going to need two lanes of traffic each way either side of it? I don’t know the area or it’s traffic problems, so serious informational question!

    I also find it hard to understand why such a long flyover is needed. If the aim is just to get through that one junction with the busway, it’s surely not necessary for the road to be up on stilts for what looks like several hundred metres?

    1. They aim to have all construction for the first functional part of the busway – between Pakuranga and Panmure – started by 2015, I believe. Maybe 2017 before it’s all done? 5 years until the first major benfits start to appear. The eastern part will be much longer, true, unless we get a more PT-positive government willing to fund it.

      As for comparing with Dom Road – the Ti Rakau busway is apparently buying properties wholesale (i.e. not just some strips of front yards) because they need the width. Once they decide to do that, they have much more flexibility for a high-quality outcome, and can consolidate the land left over for new development (where the remaining strip isn’t TOO narrow, of course).

      1. It is good. Couple of really good things:

        -Bus/train integration is now better at Panmure station
        -Bus Station is pretty close to the Mall, better than Sylvia Park train Station and way way better than Manukau. Is gobbling street facing parking and looks like they plan to retain the existing mature-ish trees, yay.
        -Will greatly help severance of mall from surrounding area

        -Coming round to flyover, not sure there is another way depends a lot on what happens under it. Hell of a lot of traffic through here, of course, because there is no viable alternative.
        -Busway must head up Pak Highway further east too, bits at a time? However you would have thought it should on the Mall side of the Highway through there…?

        But generally really good work Ameti team

        One more thing. This is the first mall I ever saw or visited. It was like a new science when it first opened in the 60s. As a kid i remember playing on two big abstract modern sculptures; where are they now?

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