We have written a couple of posts on the sheer stupidity of the Karaka to Weymouth Bridge that was being proposed by the council as part of the Unitary Plan process. The need for it primarily arose from the suggestion of allowing for a lot of greenfield development to occur around the Karaka area as part of the council opening up land through the Unitary Plan process. The bridge would have to be over 1km long and so it wouldn’t come cheap though with earlier estimates suggesting it would be over $600 million. The proposal also upset a lot of locals in Weymouth who faced the prospect of having a lot more traffic funnelled through their neighbourhood.

karaka-weymouth

Well there was some great news this week with the Papakura Courier reporting that the plans for the bridge had been shelved as developing the transport infrastructure for greenfield options that required the bridge would be 3 times higher than the other options, presumably those based around the rail line.

Plans for a Karaka to Weymouth bridge have been put back on the shelf for now.

The bridge had been pencilled in as one option in plans to extend Auckland’s urban boundaries for housing in the draft Unitary Plan.

It would have opened up the Karaka area for development and included putting a two-lane highway through the heart of the Weymouth.

In a Unitary Plan workshop with the Manurewa Local Board last week discussing the Rural Urban Boundary, council officers confirmed feedback on the draft plan strongly favoured development along the rail corridor and not westwards towards Karaka North, board chairwoman Angela Dalton says.

That was further endorsed at the Auckland Plan Committee workshop at Auckland Council on Monday.

Mrs Dalton says one of the crucial factors against building the bridge was the cost of developing the roading and public transport infrastructure.

”Council officers said the option, which would include the bridge, would cost approximately $935 million dollars, compared with approximately $300 million for a RUB which would not require the bridge.

”Ultimately, this is what we have been saying all along – that there is no budget for this bridge, there is no need for the bridge if the right planning decisions are made and ultimately the community don’t want or need it,” she says.

Board member and transport lead George Hawkins says the move is an important victory for Weymouth residents who fought hard to stop the bridge.

”We have supported Weymouth throughout this process and we are pleased with this result.”

The board will continue to keep an eye on the issue in case the bridge idea comes back to the table.

This is excellent news on so many fronts and it’s great that the council have been able to show just how horrendously expensive the bridge option would have been.

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13 comments

  1. Really pleased to hear this result.

    Apart from the financial cost, the social and community cost on those communities adversely affected would have been very high.

  2. Well it’s great to ‘saved’ the billion dollars from this destructive project, but it’s just the start as the Integrated Transport Plan lists another 23 Billion dollars of road projects many of which have similarly poor outcomes as did this one. At any price.

  3. Fantastic news! I grew up in Wemouth village and its remained such a quiet spot away from much of the trouble in Clendon that’s developed over the years. The thought of what could have potentially ripped the village in half and provide an escape route for criminal activity into the neatherrealm of Karaka was disturbing. Great to see sense prevailed at the council.

  4. This is great, there is no need for a bridge between Weymouth and Karaka, it would have destroyed tranquility in Weymouth by increasing number of cars coming into the area. Widening the Motorway between Takanini and Papakura would be a better idea.

  5. I’m not convinced that this was ever a serious proposition for several reasons:

    The area earmarked for housing was inconsistent with previous draft plans which had housing in the vicinity of the railway and SH22 and seemed to pop up out of nowhere
    The location of the bridge was not the shortest route
    The cost figures for the bridge seemed wildly over the top.

    If the shortest bridge were to be proposed the distance is around 550 m (not 1000m) or roughly the same length as the Kopu bridge. It seems reasonable to assume a similar clearance as well. The Kopu bridge cost $47 M including 2.5 km of approach roads and a roundabout. While a Weymouth-Karaka bridge may have called for 4 lanes it still doesn’t explain how the bridge would cost $600 M. Maybe that figure includes many km of new roads. Either way, I suspect that those doing the cost estimating and preparing the colourful diagrams knew that the whole thing made no sense and generated some big numbers to kill it quickly. Given the existing railway and serious proposals to bring forward electrification between Papakura and Pukekohe (with 2 new intermediate stations) why would anyone look seriously at developing an area that wasn’t rail served?

    Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

  6. To all the team here, especially Patrick Reynolds, I’d like to extend a heartfelt thank you for all your efforts in relation to this topic. The proposal has surfaced twice in the last 10 years as the subject of serious study. First by Manukau City Council in 2006 and the by the ARC in 2010. Both times it was strongly recommended for future implementation. So whilst the bridge was never formally on the table it has very much been a serious proposition, especially had the Karaka West-East RUB option been selected. Oh, I agree there was never any concern of a bridge being built in the short term but as residents in Mt Roskill learned a designation can be granted and it can take 50-60 years for it to be implemented but built it will be once the designation is there.

    Accordingly, let me thank you for “your contributions to the cause”. We, the residents of Weymouth are grateful for that.

  7. The Weymouth Karaka bridge would take pressure off the southern motorway, would reduce transport costs for those who travel from south to west for employment reduce road maintenance costs save the Glenbrook steel mill huge amounts in reduced transport costs and in general would benefit greatly the whole infrastructure. The Nimbys should realise that as this plan has actually been in existance since the mid 18 hundreds, around 1856 so I understand, and it would appear to have been blocked from those early days when people want to protect their own interests against the sensible growth of our great city and the major benefits for all.
    Sorry guys it will go ahead

    1. Its now July 2018 and I see Vehicles backed up from the motorway in Papakura nose to tail all the way out to Karaka. I see long trails of vehicles heading east towards Papakura early in the morning to get to work, there has been huge growth in the area and there are plans for a lot more growth. The Weymouth-Karaka bridge is now required and required now.
      If one has travelled overseas one would know we are behind in infrastructure, we must improve our infrastructure for the benefit of all.

      1. John, that’s an awful sight to see. But we’ve been spending the lion’s share of our transport budget on building roads for 6 decades now. What you see on the motorway in Papakura isn’t due to a lack of road building, but due to too much. Road building has led to poor urban form, poor land use, induced traffic, and congestion. Funding rail, public transport, and active mode infrastructure instead would have led to far better transport options for people, a more compact, accessible city, less farmland wasted on tarmac and housing, and more opportunities for young people without having to drive long distances.

        Each “solution” involving road building is just making the problem worse.

        I completely agree that we are behind in infrastructure, but I’d start with transport infrastructure that is sustainable, not that which involves the least space efficient, most energy-inefficient form of transport of all.

        1. With all the new development out south and it seems exponential now, each new dwelling seems to be connected to a road and has room for a vehicle or two and a garage. We are building for vehicles, additional cars are on the road, it is a fact and its happening, the roads are getting clogged on the southside.
          Thinking holistically and taking into consideration the consequences when our one main arterial route meets with an accident resulting in gridlock throughout the greater Papakura area, I do feel we need to invest in a second main route out of Auckland and connect Pukekohe with the Karaka-Weymouth bridge to Auckland. There would be cost avoidance savings for business and the economy, having an alternative route has been proven to be beneficial with the western ring route tunnel.
          A crazy thought for the left side of the argument, all new housing should be mandated to have no driveways or garages so one is forced into public transport.
          On the right side of the argument, lets get our economy humming which is good for efficiency and hopefully we all share the benefits of a better economy, build a motorway to Pukekohe via the bridge!!
          My vote is build it as that is what I see is going to be needed, if not now, we will need it tomorrow!

          1. I always knew that the right being more fiscally prudent was a myth! Why waste billions on another motorway through Papakura when we could build a cycle network to cover the entire city and a 20km long busway with money to spare instead?

            by the way, it’s your side who force people to build driveways and car parks even when we don’t want them. Whereas, most commenters on this blog want to actually give people the choice to have garages, ride bikes, or walk safely!

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