The Albert Park tunnels have been in the media again. What’s particularly exciting is hearing that information from engineers has advised that the project could be constructed in just 6 months if approved, with Bill Reid wanting them open for Christmas.
For those unfamiliar with the Albert Tunnels here was a post written by Matt last year giving a run down. The presentation can also be found here. Personally, I think this project is pure genius and am hoping it will happen soon.
So why do I love the Albert Park tunnels:
As a young city, we have an extreme disadvantage in that we don’t have many landmark selling points. This is the type of project that makes Auckland stand out from the crowd. It also gives tourists something to really do in the City if they can’t stray too far from the cruise ship, tour etc.
It will be perfect for America’s Cup when plenty of tourists in City finding things to do between races.
As an aside, this is also another reason I support a rail/walking/cycling bridge to the North Shore, not only is it nearly a billion cheaper than a tunnel (as well as more easily future proofed), but also another chance to create a wonderful landmark to set Auckland apart.
It’s a really useful Transport Link
The tunnels fill a real transport need in addition to the cultural, tourism and entertainment benefits. The tunnels act as an extension of the future Victoria St Linear Park which will be a major east/west walking/cycling route connecting:
- Connecting Grafton Gully and Nelson cycleways.
- It will remove the hill making both the CRL and Light Rail university stations;
- Makes it easier to connect to Symonds buses;
- Supports the Green Link move of the City Centre Masterplan;
Fantastic Places Inside
- Wine and Cheese Cave;
- Glowworm encounter organised by the same people at Waitomo;
- Mini Museum;
- Other hospitality;
Doesn’t Need Ratepayer Funding
The really great part about this project is that they don’t need any funding from ratepayers/taxpayers all they need is the go-ahead and in fact, because they expect to pay a lease this would be revenue for the Council.
All in all I can’t wait for the tunnels and seriously great work from both Bill Reid who has been advocating for the tunnels for years as well as Nicolas Reid (No relation), who also co-wrote Regional Rapid Rail with me for turning the concept into a real game changer for the city, not just for tourism, but culture and transport as well.