We’ve recently written about consultation in the North and South about future transport networks as part of a project to designate the corridors before the growth starts occurring. Back in August they consulted on Warkworth and in the North around Dairy Flat and Silverdale. Earlier this month they consulted on the South from Takanini through to Pukekohe. The consultation for the final area, the Northwest, closes tomorrow.
Over the coming three decades there is expected to be another 75,000 people and 25,000 jobs in the Northwest.
The biggest single transport piece is likely to be light rail that the government have committed to. There is no exact suggested corridor yet but it’s likely to roughly follow the current route of SH16. The work that the NZTA are meant to be doing on this project should eventually feed into this piece of work.
The project alliance are also once again looking at the options for extending the heavy rail network from Swanson, which they say will “take into account decisions made on light rail and the future of rail freight between Auckland and Northland“. From memory the last time it had a very poor business case with a benefit cost ratio of about 0.2.
They will also look a little more deeply than has been done before at the proposed Upper Harbour busway which would connect between Westgate and Constellation Dr. For the next few decades at least, this will likely just mean ensuring any other upgrades to the corridor take the need for a future busway into account.
There are two ferry terminals being considered for the long term.
- Scotts Point – which may be a stop on the existing West Harbour ferry route but they say there are “Notable environmental constraints” to building one
- Whenuapai – This would also have the “Notable environmental constraints” and also would need to operate at slow speeds in the upper harbour. This doesn’t seem practical compared with a feeder bus to a light rail station.
There are a number of state highway related projects expected in the coming decades. Likely the biggest of these will see SH16 realigned to bypass Kumeu-Huapai. I don’t have too much issue with this as with the population growing so much it should see the town centre become more urban people focused and so taking the state highway out of the middle of it will be important. The don’t explicitly state that this new route would be a motorway but I’d be surprised if it wasn’t given the already decent traffic volumes.
The new route will be on the southern side of the town and has been split into two halves. Each of those two halves has two route options with each side mix and matched.
Below are some of the positives and negatives they give for each of the four lines.
- Options for a connection point from the existing SH16
- From the SH16 Brigham Creek roundabout
- Separates the new corridor from the existing SH16 at a point near Westgate and Whenuapai
- Less constrained by existing access requirements along SH16
- Would require realignment of the proposed interchange at Brigham Creek Road.
- From the SH16 Taupaki roundabout
- Begins further north on SH16, at the Taupaki roundabout
- Integrates with the safety and efficiency upgrades already being delivered on this section of road by the Safe Roads SH16 project.
- Options for the corridor at Kumeū-Huapai
- Through the southern part the growth area
- Provides more direct connectivity with the future growth areas and existing business areas.
- Around the southern part of the growth area
- Minimal direct impact on future urban area
- Around the southern part of the growth area
- Passes through steeper terrain and will have greater construction challenges
In addition to the new route above there are a lot of or smaller state highway projects. These are listed below but a more detail is on the link
- A new interchange at SH16 Brigham Creek Road
- South-facing ramps at Northside Drive
- New direct connection between SH16 and SH18
- Upgraded interchange at SH18 Brigham Creek Road
- Full interchange at SH18 Squadron Drive
There are four focused areas listed where new urban arterial networks will need to be created, These are Redhills, Whenuapai, Riverhead and Kumeu-Huapai.
There are a number of new (green) and upgraded existing (orange) arterial roads listed. The one where there is some uncertainty (1) is the western most North/South route. Option A would upgrade the existing Nixon and Taupaki roads and links into SH16 at the existing Taupaki intersection but is further away from where future housing will be. Option B is away from both existing and new housing which they say could potentially make it a limited access road – so no driveways or intersections off it. That would join in to SH16 at the Coatesville-Riverhead Highway.
One of the benefits of the proposed Northern leg of the SH16-SH18 interchange is it reduces vehicles on Brigham Creek Rd and would make it easier to detune. They are questioning if it should have a partial detour but that would take it away from the village.
At Riverhead one of the big focuses will be upgrading Coatesville-Riverhead Highway for safety. Like with other roads and those in the other consultations, they say this could be for PT too but this feels a little like PT washing unless there is a sensible bus route to run over it – a future north/south route from Riverhead to Redhills stopping to interchange with the future light rail might work.
There is also new and improved roads to link up Riverhead with Kumeu-Huapai and Whenuapai.
There aren’t the options presented for Kumeu-Huapai, just that they’re considering these routes.
As mentioned, consultation for the Northwest closes tomorrow