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.
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.