Warning: if you have a weak stomach or scare easily then I’d recommend you don’t read on.
As I noted the other day, there seems to really be a concerted push at the moment on the East-West link. It was a strong feature in the Project Auckland op-eds and was of course named as one of the key projects by the government back in June. I’ve also heard that despite not having a (publicly) confirmed route or a business case, decisions on it are being made very quickly and that it’s going to cabinet for approval and funding in April next year. The real push for the project seems to be coming from the business community and as also mentioned the other day the councils support for it is believed to largely be a concession for the business community supporting the CRL.
While the route is yet to be officially decided, the purpose of this post is to highlight the kind of thinking and pressure that the various transport agencies are being placed under by business groups (not that they need a lot of encouragement). What has been proposed is appears to be very similar to what is known as Option 3, a reminder of which is below
The image below has been sent to me by multiple people and was created by one business group as an indication of what they would like to see. They have called it Option 8 and a couple of notable points are
- An underground interchange at with SH20 at Onehunga
- An additional crossing of the Manukau Harbour
- An 8-lane motorway from Onehunga to Highbrook (4-lanes per direction) with trains down the middle (who knows where they’re going)
- 4.2km of tunnel (still 4-lanes per direction) from Westfield to Highbrook
- New freight expressway going North-South along the foreshore at Otahuhu and another on Favona Rd
- Massive scale traffic roundabouts (more on these soon)
- Massive foreshore reclamation to try and pretend this is good for the local community
In addition to these points I also note they think the benefits should be assessed over a 100 year period. The NZTA have only recently increased the assessment criteria from 30 to 40 years so this is substantially longer and I wonder what the BCR of the CRL would be if we assessed it over the same length of time (hint: it would be massive)
The expression of “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut” springs to mind when I look at this.
As mentioned there are some massive scale roundabouts being mentioned as part of this proposal and are identified by the blue and yellow dots. Below is what they are proposing for these.
Attached with this was a feedback form trying to get support for various aspects including
How do you rate Option 8 as detailed on the attached drawing – Low Support | | Medium Support | | High Support | |
Undertake an economic study by independent party. To include
Water Sewage Spend
Plant & Buildings
Number of Employees
Number of Businesses
Reduction of carbon footprint
More efficient use of vehicles (possible reduction in fleet numbers)
Use of harbour sediment for multimodal link (serious environmental issue)
A true multimodal transport link to meet needs of all community
Life expectancy of East West Link
Savings to national economy based on all options and do nothing
Transport and Vehicle Ownership
Road Tax Paid
PWA requires a major overhaul to become a good faith document
Use different approach to roading design
Include interchange connection with SH1
Reduce traffic volumes through established communities
Tunnel under Tamaki River as a seamless transport corridor
Reclamation of Harbour encouraged if results in open pubic green space
I was going to try and resist responding to the points but some are almost so hilarious I couldn’t help myself
Reduction of carbon footprint – Right so ploughing a new 8 lane motorway through will help with that
Reduce traffic volumes through established communities – I guess if you just wipe the communities out with a massive road then it can work a treat.
All up the proposal is truly horrific in how massive it would be yet even this is potentially not the worst option out there for the project (more on this tomorrow). But as I said at the start, it does show the kind of thinking that is coming out of some of our business groups about transport and highlights the kind of thinking that is still prevalent in some (powerful) sectors of the wider Auckland community.