I was recently sent a briefing from late May that the NZTA gave to the transport industry on the three large projects in Auckland that will be procuring work for. In all cases the work relates to designation and planning work and the projects are the Additional Waitemata Harbour Crossing (AWHC), the Northern Corridor works and the East-West link. The most interesting of them and the one I’ll cover here is the AWHC.

The NZTA intend on restarting the process to get protect the route that they put on hold in 2009. This was actually announced back in in 2013 the government launched their programme of ‘accelerating’ a number of motorway projects. Interestingly they say here it will cost around $4 billion. This is just another in the long list of wild estimates for this project and of course won’t include any works necessary to widen the Northern Motorway to be able to handle the extra traffic or increase the capacity of the CMJ – which I’m told is all built out.

AWHC - Indstry Briefing

That cost also won’t include any costs to connect the rail tunnels at each end shown in the image (closer look below) meaning that it’s likely any idea of rail to the shore will be dependent on a separate project and one that will likely fail any business case for some time thanks to the presence of the recently built motorway.

AWHC Tunnel cross section

Perhaps the most interesting part is this slide showing that building the tunnels induces a lot more demand. It would be interesting to know if they are talking about all trips or just vehicle trips. If the latter the increase is probably because it would undermine the busway therefore seeing people moving back to driving.

AWHC - Induced Demand

It’s also still not clear that vehicle demand is going to increase by that level. For a start no one knows just what impact the completion of the Waterview and the Western Ring Route will have and even without that traffic volumes haven’t been increasing like they were predicted to. I most recently looked at volumes here.

AHB Annual Volumes to 2014

This slide shows the next steps in the process

AWHC - Route Protection process

And here’s the scope of the current works planned

AWHC -Route Protection scope

Interestingly this just went public yesterday

The NZ Transport Agency invites Registrations of Interest (ROI) from suitably experienced consultants and advisors who have the right people with the necessary vision, experience, capacity, understanding and commitment to deliver outstanding outcomes for the Additional Waitematā Harbour Crossing (AWHC).

The professional services for route protection will be procured using the staged delivery model. The contract will be finalised through a negotiation phase, which will develop an agreed methodology, effort, target fee and pain/gain approach.

Scope

The high level objective of the project is to complete the route protection and secure designations for the AWHC; by updating and confirming the existing Notices of Requirement (NoRs), and serving new NoR(s), as required to designate the land at either end of the additional crossing. This project is to be publicly notified and a public hearing is likely to occur.
Skills Required

The team will generally provide the following expertise, but not be limited to:

  • Statutory planning and resource management
  • Engineering, including tunnelling, highway, rail, civil engineering and geology/geotechnical
  • Traffic modelling and transport planning
  • Environmental and social management, technical expertise and assessment
  • Provision of evidence at hearings and expert witness

Request for Proposals Overview

The Request for Proposal (RFP) will use the quality based supplier selection method. The contract scope will be reasonably broad and focused on key outcomes with the approach and related scope to be further defined by respondents.

A RFP interactive presentation, for all respondents, is proposed to be held after the RFP closes, and will be assessed as part of the evaluation.
RFP documents will only be issued to those applicants who have submitted an ROI.

Industry Briefing

Prospective respondents to this ROI are invited to attend an Industry Briefing on Thursday 2 July 2015. Respondents wishing to attend this briefing are requested to confirm their interest in attending before 4:00pm on Tuesday 30 June 2015. Attendees will be limited to two per company.

ROI Response

The ROI will be open for three weeks and will close at 4:00pm on Thursday 9 July 2015.

In my view, before we build any more road crossings our transport agencies should be prioritising their focus on getting the missing modes across the harbour. That means Skypath needs to be built as soon as possible (we should hear the results of the resource consent within 2 weeks) and then the focus needs to be on a dedicated PT route. That would provide much greater additional capacity and resilience for less cost than a the huge road tunnels planned and could happen sooner. In face it could even possible link in with the light rail plans for the isthmus – more on that in another post. Route protection wouldn’t stop that outcome but our agencies need to have a serious rethink of the project in its current form.

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79 comments

  1. I fully support designating this rute. It would be foolish to build skyscrapers at the Southern end, or apartment at the Northern end that then have to be bought back to build this if it is ever warranted.

    However, this project is not needed any time in the foreseeable future.

    1. I agree. Also have the rail route protected, so hopefully if lucky we might get the rail crossing only. Please see my longer comment below

    2. I agree, We should be designating heaps of routes to give options in the future. It doesn’t mean we have to start building in the near future, but it does give the option if demand changes. I personally prefer rail only to the North Shore is the best solution, but we would be foolish to not designate now in case a road tunnel is needed.

  2. WHY? As a resident of Takapuna I am struggling to see any possible benefit from a second road crossing for this suburb and any others for that matter. The busway is unclogging the bridge nicely. I have long been ambivalent to a bus lane on the bridge,but now feel this is the next step to reward bus goers for there efforts for the environment, the balance of payments deficit and all other road users.
    And don’t tell me its for the trucks! I am more than prepared to take a day off work and sit on the Akoranga overpass, count the few number of trucks and expose the sheer folly of that argument. It almost ranks alongside the desperate need for the 12 Northland bridges i;e votes for National in the ballot box.
    It was interesting to read John Roughan’s opinion piece in the Herald. Firstly it was obviously only an opinion piece and secondly it was truly a “rough un.”

    1. I read (most, some) of that too. John doesn’t like rail so he doesn’t think anyone else should be able to use it. Yep John, rail’s days are numbered, just look at New York, London, Sydney. All our days are numbered.

      1. Don’t forget he tried a Tram once – it didn’t do much, so ipso-facto all Trams are crap.

        Bit like his experience with buses, tried one once, didn’t do much, so yep, all buses are crap,
        And Busways, yep, he tried them once too, didn’t do much, so all busways are crap.

        And don’t get him started on personal computers, he tried one once, didn’t do much, so yep, all PCs are crap.
        I guess he still submits his articles by typing them up on the typewriter and giving them to the copyboy in the newsroom to deliver to the Typesetters to put onto presses downstairs at “The Granny” right?

        But oh wait, yes all buses are crap, but when they are being compared to trams, then suddenly, all buses are great!

        So make up your mind Roughan which side are you on, or are you just too scared to admit you’ve been wrong more times than right with transport and computer technology?

        As for Sydney’s LRT, well Darling harbour is a prick to get to from the City centre, always has been, even the old Monorail took longer than walking did.

        So why should the LRT be able to fix a geography problem like that? When the overhead magic carpet ride of the unlamented monorail couldn’t?

    2. Observing traffic flows by using the motorway and bridge IMHO it’s not the bridge that is the jam, but the feeder roads are the issue. The bridge actually works fine.

  3. I don’t think the completion of the ring road via the Waterview tunnel will result in the benefits it is hoped for. For starters it will add extra kilometers to a journey – if the journey involves going through to Wellsford about an extra 50 kilometres which for trucks will mean extra fuel and Road User Charges, and I can’t see saving half an hour, if that, on a journey outweighing those (I was working in Wellsford so I did a comparison). If the journey involves going through Albany then there is still the traffic on SH1 from where the Upper Harbour Motorway joins SH1 to take into account. If you want to get a better idea about how little traffic, both trucks and cars, use the motorway from Orewa north, sit on the Silverdale overpass, but take a good book with you, it will be a long day.

    1. WRR will benefit trucks and traffic that come from Manukau and further south who need to go north (or v.v.), via the WRR route to where SH18 and SH1 rejoin is 46km by that route.

      Using SH1 only from Manukau to SH18/SH1 intersection is 33km, so the difference is a mere 13 km. at 90km/hr thats 9 minutes travelling time difference for a truck. i.e. longer for WRR by 9 minutes from Manukau.

      No-one practically suggests many trucks will use SH16 to go north all the way to Wellsford. And thats why NZTA is building another clusterf**k interchange at SH18/SH1 like Waterview will be when its completed.

      However the route from Manukau using SH1 is usually heavily congested, so while you may save some distance driving on SH1 you will waste double that time saving by being stuck in traffic by doing so.

      If time is more valuable than distance you’ll take WRR, otherwise use SH1.

      Just remember once tunnel opens the SH1 route will be tolled, as will the harbour bridge by necessity too (or no one would use the tunnel).
      Toll is probably $10-$16 or so each way was suggested by NZTA), so will make the WRR route even more attractive for many if you want the “free” route.

      1. Where will the tolls be? (I thought the central government had refused tolls, or is that only for Auckland Council, not for them?)

    2. Don’t worry we are spending $450 million on that upper harbour to SH1 junction so you can queue at ramp signals intead of the existing give way.

    3. dumbest idea every. Spending $4b to add 6 more lanes between one piece of motorway with no spare capacity and another piece of motorway with no spare capacity. Not quite a bridge to nowhere, but close! Tunnel of Congestion perhaps?

      Will this even provide any timesavings at all?

      1. I guess it might provide some to people travelling between Takapuna and the city. What will be funny is possibly becfause of induced demand during peak periods the time savings for those travelling longer distances could be negative. Imagine (during afternoon peak) those 6 lanes of traffic having to merge down to three near Takapuna

  4. I completely object to this process. NZTA are not analysing the need at all, but starting with a solution. And what a appallingly poor one it is too, by their own admission this is nothing other a vast expense to inducing more driving. And more driving, especially on this scale, is simply more congestion everywhere. This is a vast congestion creation scheme. Where are all these new vehicle trips going to go? What we invest in leads to what we use. Why on earth are they proposing to force us all to drive more when ‘solving congestion’ is supposed to be their primary focus? What is missing here is the dedicated RTN route. That people will choose to it is proven, especially as it will be even quicker and better than the currently successful Busway. Build that first, only adding to the current 13 traffic lanes once the missing mode has been added.

    This is nothing other than huge gold plated disaster unless we are to believe that this process will really be completely open-minded as to outcomes? If that was so why does it start with a wholly unbelievable tunnel cross-section, of which it is clear only the upper half will be developed? Where is the Rapid Transit only option? We will be pushing for a real analysis of need across this waterway, with a full range of innovative and more cost effective solutions. In particular ones do not actually make everything much worse.

    1. I support route protection (see my coment below) but we need to protect the connecting rail links (Takapuna – Akoranga and Wynard – Aotea – University – Newmarket) too. In particular the Wynard – Newmarket link will provide effectively a second CRL, further transforming the CBD and establishing a semi-metro style network in the CBD. The only issue is adding these rail links might push the total cost to $6bn. But we should push for route protection both of the crossing and the connecting rail links (including the crosstown link I described, not a Wynard – Britomart link which will have much fewer benefits).

      Any idea of when they plan to start constructing this, or the different stages? I imagine after 2020 by which time a Labour-Green government might with luck build the rail only

  5. And yet meanwhile in Onehunga they are removing protection of the rail route to the airport with their East-West roading proposal!

  6. The flow diagram is hard to understand. Surely the business case should come near the start, in front of all/most of the other activities, as it is about deciding whether the project is worth undertaking.

    As it stands (looking at the diagram) it is difficult to understand the point of the business case – to keep some economic consultants in business?

    1. The only flow you need to visualise is that of NZTA and its Transport Minister controller, pissing all over due process.

      Its a crude metaphor – but unfortunately apt, for this process.

    2. Yes, has anyone done even a rough cost-benefit analysis yet? Might make even the worst RONS project to date look like a wise investment

      1. Last one was about 0.2 if I remember correctly.

        When a project costs that much it’s very hard to come up with a strong BCR. Not sure where they are going to find ten billion dollars of benefits from to make it just passable.

        1. oh, that one’s easy. You just call it a Tunnel Route of National Significance (TRONS), and then you can ignore the BCR. Worked for all the RONS…

        2. So the government is in the business of value destruction it would seem. Of interest, the East West Link information is bold enough to “predict” a BCR>2 (or benefits greater than $2b) despite not having carried out any actual analysis.

    1. Doubtful. If it ever goes ahead, it would need to be someone with significant underground tunnelling experience, like Soletanche Bachy. AECOM just don’t cut the mustard.

  7. I only move infrequently in National party circles, but the talk I hear is that the second road crossing is a priority sitting well ahead of the CRL.

    One reality is that the National government has so few ways that it can stimulate the economy other than building roads. Politically they will never give money to poor people (unless they are shamed into doing it) and they can’t build things like power stations any more because they don’t own the entities to do it. So we end up with (extremely) low value projects that add very little value for anyone.

    Oh I forgot. MBIE has had some real value add projects recently! Why does that name, “Minister Joyce” keep popping up when we discuss spending of this nature?.

    1. Maybe they plan to take over the route designations for CRL and run the (road) tunnels under the CBD using the CRL route to get the roads linked into the WRR and points south?

      Just a giant make work scheme invented by Joyce and his minions in the “Ministry of Bumbling, Indolence and Extravagance”.

    2. I will grant what you are saying is probably true. However I have no doubt the CRL will be built first as it has so much political momentum behind it

  8. I support route protection, even though I do not support this project in the foreseeable future. I agree it is a big waste of money at the moment, but think that it is likely that in 2050 we will have a genuine need for this project. Second protecting the route can mean the route is still protected for the rail link alone to be built. Rather than opposing the route protection we must insist on route protection for connecting rail links (namely Akoranga – Takapuna and Wynard – Aotea – University – Newmarket. While rail to Albany will be nice, getting to Takapuna should be the first step, and have all busway customers switch at Akoranga). We might have to swallow the new road as the poison pill to get the railway built also

  9. To really get resilience, surely different modes really need to be on different mode-dedicated routes?

    It seems really dangerous to have road and rail in the same tunnel. If there was a crash involving a hazardous/flammable goods truck in one of the road tunnels and it resulted in an intense fire, the rail line underneath would likely have to be closed as well, meaning both modes would be cut off, causing major disruptions to both the motorway/road network and the railway/light rail network, meaning in effect that people would not have a choice of how to get to work or home or wherever they want/need to go. Thus it seems to be self-defeating and therefore not a good idea.

    The best resilience would seem to be something like having road on a bridge (open to the air, i.e., not a chimney in a fire) and rail in a tunnel (unless the Chelsea sugar factory closes or relocates in the meantime, in which case a lower-gradient bridge could be an option).

    It seems beyond ridiculous to spend 4-5-6-7 billion dollars and not get any more resilience (or capacity, especially in the event of an accident or incident) than before.

    (We could possibly have rail to the North Shore and rail from Onehunga and/or Otahuhu to the airport and on through to Manukau and up to Botany and across to Panmure and have the Southdown-Avondale rail line and a rail line from Mt Albert or Henderson to Westgate and on across the upper harbour to Albany – thus connecting all the metropolitan centres by rail – for that kind of money?)

    1. That is a very low probability event given the fire suppression systems and the fact flammable goods vehicles will not be allow to use the tunnel.

      1. I hope you’re right Matthew. Still, if a high risk impact, even with a low probability, can be avoided (like it can be with a new-build), perhaps it should be. (I seem to recall some earlier drawings from a few years ago had the road tunnel/s and rail tunnel/s as separate tunnels. Not sure if those drawings are still on the web, or gone down the “memory hole” at the MoT.)

      2. And another thing … I’ve been advised by a person at NZTA that dangerous goods vehicles (and oversize vehicles) won’t be allowed to use the Western Ring Route tunnels, and if they’re also not allowed to use the AWHC tunnels either, then the route for such vehicles would have to either be the residential streets of Avondale or the city streets of the CBD from the old harbour bridge (because, if I’m reading the wiring diagram in this post http://greaterakl.wpengine.com/2012/12/17/why-awhc-is-the-stupidest-transport-project-ever/ correctly, there would be no direct connection between the old harbour bridge and the CMJ and motorways south, west, and east (to the port)), which would put a real damper on the shared spaces and linear parks that these streets are envisaged to become (nobody wants to be dining al fresco with fume-belching heavy tankers of toxic sludge and flammable gas rumbling by). Does this mean the residents (including school kids) of Avondale will get all the fumes, toxic spills and explosions? Could an alternative dangerous goods vehicle route run from the old harbour bridge through Parnell and Remuera to the southern motorway?

        1. Off at Nelson, on at Wellington St or Off at Cook, on at Hobson. No need to use any of the route that aren’t dedicated to vehicles in the CCMP.

          1. That’s in the CCMP? Wow, that seems to be at odds with the vision for Nelson Street and Hobson Street envisaged in the CCMP here: http://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/EN/planspoliciesprojects/plansstrategies/ccmp/Documents/08ccmp2012move2.pdf

            (I found out that dangerous goods vehicles are allowed through the Victoria Park tunnel. Wow, imagine the chaos that could cause.)

            Anyway, from the NZTA maps, it looks like oversize vehicles do rumble through Parnell and Remuera, e.g.:
            http://www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/overdimen-veh-route-maps/4-auckland/docs/OD_4-28%20Auckland.pdf

            But dangerous goods vehicles will still be rumbling through residential streets in Avondale after the WRR is completed:
            http://www.nzta.govt.nz/projects/waterviewconnection/docs/info-sheet-how-the-waterview-tunnels-will-work.pdf

    2. I don’t believe anyone, not NZTA, not MoT, not the government really intends to run a single train through that void. That is simply PT/Green-wash to help them sell their vast and useless submerged motorway to us poor dolts who will be paying for it forever. And paying in so many ways. This is a quadruple-down on imported oil dependency, this is a city-ruining vehicle dump [there is literally nowhere for these extra cars to go but the city, as the CMJ is already full], and this is vast money hole that will preclude us from building what we need to make Auckland succeed.

      1. I hope you’re wrong Patrick. Could Auckland Council put in the tracks and connections at each end with their own funding (and add a levy to the tolls people above advise will be charged on the road routes (old bridge, AWHC, and WRR) to recoup the cost)?

  10. I have read somewhere that this project would cost more like $6 billion if you add the additional cost of the motorway widening at each end and the cost of the ventilation system for vehicles in the tunnels would add approx 10% to the total tunnel cost?

    As an alternative why not build a rail only tunnel to the North Shore (most likely in the $2.5-3 billion range?) and then once that is in place and carrying a decent portion of traffic, rebuild the existing harbour bridge (when needed) with additional supporting structure and new clip-ons to provide additional lanes in each direction; which could probably be done for little more than $1 billion?

    Granted you will not get an additional 3 lanes in each direction; but with the rail in place these should not be needed. This should provide a considerable cost saving over this proposal with what I can see very few disadvantages from this proposal.

    1. It’s worse than that Gary, you actually get a REDUCTION in through lanes from 4 or 5 each way to 3 (except for the Vic Park tunnel, which is 3 already).

      And as has been noted by others here, it bypasses the only part of the northern and southern motorways that is NOT congested: after crawling for an hour on the northern or southern motorways, the traffic usually speeds up to near the 80 km/h speed limit as soon as you get to St Mary’s Bay from the southern side or to the old toll plaza area on the northern side. It’s totally useless and totally unnecessary.

  11. The indicated route fails the basic ‘single point of failure’ analysis of a supposed network. The central motorway junction in general is a giant ‘single point of failure’. IF we do eventually need a second inner city harbour crossing, it should provide an alternate route to the CMJ.
    A longer tunnel coming up at the bottom of Grafton Gully from which the tunnel traffic can go either south or west, but no local off-ramp to the CBD. Keep the CBD traffic on the bridge and the tunnel can be the city by-pass route. Perhaps include a gated-off emergency off ramp for CBD access that would only be opened when there was a crash or similar blocking the bridge.
    Land purchase and route protection should be started for this now, even if it isn’t needed for 50 years,or even never needed.
    Don’t forget that the only reason that SH20 went through Mt Roskill et al where it did was because the railways protected that route many decades earlier.

    1. Exactly; this is anti resilience.

      On route protection; all well and good except they haven’t even considered a non vehicle route, so how on earth do they know this is one they should protect for all eventualities?

      They have the cart before the horse; solution first analysis later.

      1. I’d be interested to know what the reasons were for them stalling it in 2009. What were they then – and why do they no longer apply now?

    1. The sugar factory land is zoned for high density residential. So if that has happened, there will likely be a large development going on down there.

  12. If it’s only going to have a single track rail line why bother putting rail in it at all? That’s simply designing in a network pinch point from the outset for no discernible reason that I can see.

    1. It’s a single track for each direction. For improved safety, modern long rail tunnels have separate tubes for each direction. It’s a double-track route, with a separation gap in between.

  13. I do agree you touch on a real concern. I think Auckland Transport/Auckland Council probably genuinely want to run trains through the tunnel, but question how keen anyone else is. The lack of investigation into how the rail will link up to the existing network, and the awful placing of Akoranga station (with little thought given to possible northward extensions from Akoranga) are big red flags.

  14. And Northcote Point residents are worried about a cycleway? The motorway will end up 12 lanes wide at the bottom of Onewa Rd.

  15. It is completely, utterly bonkers to flood the CBD and the CMJ with a fire-hose of single occupant cars, which is what this project will do.

    This entire planning process is arse about face. Why should route protection include ventilation stacks? They wouldn’t be required if the solution to the as yet undefined problem is electrified mass rapid transit.

    The process fails a basic project planning methodology, starting with establishing the problem you want to solve. The problem we should be trying to solve is how to move thousands of people at peak times in a reliable and economically efficient manner.

    Then establish possible solutions and perform a cost benefit analysis for each possible solution.

    It seems so obvious, but again I say single occupant cars are the primary cause of congestion and aren’t any kind of economic mass rapid transport solution. It defies belief that central Government are blind to this for Auckland and willfully continue with tax and spend, without any thought to the huge economic opportunity cost of spending billions annually on the folly of ever wider motorways.

    To this Government, no road is ever too expensive.

  16. While I understand the rationale for designation, my concern is that in some quarters that is seen as akin to justification for design and build. Surely there is not any room to link further roads into the CMJ?! Another example of rampant road building in Auckland. It is so far behind the thinking in other countries it is not even funny.

    1. It’s hard to see how they could ever expand capacity through the CMJ, even if they wanted to /could afford it.

      That’s the key problem with the concept, all it can ever do therefore is increase traffic capacity between the North Shore and the city centre.

      1. So presumably, next stage is a double stacked southern motorway, or re-allocation of the southern rail corridor to motorway lanes or what??

        I think that is just one area to ask some questions. How does this new link integrate with the overall roading network, and specific government plans for where Auckland is to grow? I think that this AWHC is just one part of a larger jigsaw puzzle being put together.

        The AWHC only works if it is in conjunction with a duplication of the sorts of Auckland urban planning processes that went on in the 1950s and 60s on a bigger scale……that is to carve up the Auckland isthmus with a new network of motorways that will link commuters in Warkworth with their place of employment in Drury, or from Helensville to East Tamaki, or from Pokeno to Albany. To make such journeys feasible for an average household requires an average commuter speed of perhaps 70 km/ph from house to office. Start from that sort of reference framework, and see just what motorway infrastructure would be required to achieve that for “x” numbers of commuters per day. For the numbers of commuters per day, I would guess that looking at the projected numbers of dwellings required to be built per year could provide the answers. I have colleagues who travel from Melbourne’s far western suburbs to the Dandenong area for employment which would be an equivalent journey length. I think that at the conclusion of such an exercise, you’d find the motorway bill to be way north of “just” the $4 billion or so for the AWHC. Which in itself calls into question the governments long term growth plans for NZ.

        1. Yes, at least Stephen Selwood of NZCID is more honest than the gov and the parts of NZTA pushing this when he is calling for it to be much longer and go to the bottom Grafton Gully and involve a supersizing of that route plus a revival of the South Eastern m’way. All those things are politically impossible and would cost what? 10-12-15 billion? So instead we get a $4-6 billion disconnected and therefore useless project instead. Knowing full well that then the next bottleneck will have to be ‘fixed’ after that. Another who knows how many $billion to tunnel under the CMJ etc etc…. every mega m’way project simply begets the next. Good biz to be in while this wasteful government is in power.

          1. But from this ill-thought out proposal the next discussion can begin: memo to wealthy nimbys enjoying their tax free capital gains in their leafy isthmus bungalow –

            Option A: accept a degree of well designed and contructed terrace homes (Inner Sydney or Melbourne style) along with high quality passenger transport infrastructure. These will help deliver those extra homes that Auckland needs in a cost effective manner that also builds a fundamentally better city.
            Or – Option B: accept that your leafy ‘burbs will be carved up with a new generation of motorways to link far flung suburbs that will destroy the ambience of your area as per what happened in the past in Auckland.
            Or – Option C: ask the country to pay $4, $10, $15 or more billion to dig out a succession of tunnels beneath those leafy wealthy isthmus suburbs.

            The nimbys will go for Option C and try to disguise the cost as a PPP. The objective therefore is to sleuth out the real cost to the rest of the country of this little scheme.

          2. Perhaps the craziest part is: the bridge is not a bottleneck, but this project feeds a bottleneck: the CMJ. Which would surely make things worse and make tunnelling under the CMJ the next logical (but not rational) step. Talk about work creation.

      2. Let the North Shore pay for it. $ 5 bn is about $ 20 k for every man, woman and child living North of the crossing. Say $ 50 k per household. Puts the transport levy in perceptive.

        1. You’re assuming people on the North Shore want it. Many people on the North Shore want better public transport just as much as everyone else in Auckland.

          1. Agree Jamie. People grouping Shoreites all together may want to look at NEX patronage trends.

    1. The opportunity costs of even **considering** this project are just as horrendous.

      Lots of other projects that NZTA could be scoping out, rather than this one, and exactly what land will be “lost” in the interim if the route protection doesn’t happen?
      Most of the route is under the sea or adjacent the motorways. No chance of ever building on that.

      The only land that could be impacted is the southern portal area under Wynyard Quarter, and a blanket requirement over the entire land there could take care of that easily.

      CMJ will be the sticking point literally to any tunnel portals west of the CMJ.

      1. +1

        Wasteful mis-deployment of talented engineering and related resources.. hundreds (thousands?) of hours of conversations, meetings, workshops, thinking, planning, designing, coordinating, managing ..creating an inexorable momentum towards a gargantuan, grossly dysfunctional, ultimately pointless and massively destructive project that will, *hopefully* not proceed.

        Tunnel vision. Madness.

      2. “CMJ will be the sticking point literally to any tunnel portals west of the CMJ.”

        Tunnel portals west of the CMJ?

        I don’t see that on the map in the post. Is this some detail on a drawing elsewhere?

        (As I recall, about 10-15 years ago Transit NZ had some maps of an AWHC bypassing the CMJ by continuing south in tunnels running slightly to the west of the CMJ to merge with the Northwestern motorway between Newton Rd and Bond St, with no connection to the Southern motorway, which seemed/seems strange to me, but I don’t think that’s the current plan, is it?)

  17. Added to the rest of the issues is that the alignment doesn’t go where we want rail to go – under Wynyard. FFS! This is purely a road project with some trains drawn in.

    1. – exactly; we can’t ride these ghost trains, NZTA

      If they were serious then there would actually be proposed routes, running patterns, and train types being seriously discussed. Additionally government ministers and their footsoldiers [eg Roughan] are taking every opportunity to attack the very idea of urban rail at all.

      1. Note that the rail tunnels are separate from the road tunnels here, which it says can be built at different times (and it says the Grafton route is best for motorway connections because it avoids the worst part of the CMJ (actually, it wouldn’t be a CMJ anymore, just on/off ramps, which could be cut back).

  18. It really is common sense. Just build a rail line in the tunnel and see whether that will take cars off the Bridge. If it takes cars off the bridge, then there is no need for another road crossing. The western ring route will also take traffic away from the bridge as well.

  19. It’s a travesty that protection of the wrong route and modal mix here is happening while in the southeast a viable route is crying out for protection and also at risk from roadmongers. Key question – what is the best way to move additional people through a corridor? Given our well developed urban roading network the answer will almost always be better PT ROWs. Protect these now.

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