For some time now we’ve known that the cost and completion timeframe for the City Rail Link would increase. Yesterday we finally learned by just how much.


City Rail Link Ltd (CRL Ltd) today confirms it has submitted a formal funding request to its Sponsors – the Crown and Auckland Council – reflecting revised costs and time required to complete the project as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, lockdowns and associated impacts.

The cost of the project is now estimated to be $5.493bn a $1.074bn increase on the previous estimate of $4.419 billion, which was approved by the Sponsors in May 2019.

While not being surprising, it’s obviously incredibly disappointing that the cost and the timeframe of the project have gone up again, with the cost having increased by a similar amount four years ago – though about a quarter of that increase was also better future proof the project, including building the Beresford Square entrance to the Karanga-a-Hape station.

City Rail Link Ltd are putting the cause of the increase almost entirely on the impacts of COVID, both from the lockdowns and subsequent supply chain and staffing challenges.

Chief executive Dr Sean Sweeney says the extra funding and additional time for completion is primarily due to Covid impacts – time lost on-site and the knock-on effect on the supply chain, resourcing, materials, and labour costs.

“People need to remember that in Auckland we endured two level four lockdowns, a further 280 days of restricted working conditions (Covid traffic light system) and we lost 3.2 million hours through illness among staff, with 800-plus workers infected.”

They also gave a bit more of a breakdown to some of these issues while noting that similar scale projects in Australia are on average about 30% over budget with COVID also being the most significant factor in the increases.

The cost increases and delays to large infrastructure projects like the CRL stem from a complex, interrelated series of factors that broadly fall under the Covid umbrella and are still impacting construction costs and timetable.

These impacts include:

  • Direct Covid impacts – loss of hours worked due to lockdowns (two lockdowns; more than six months), Covid restrictions (traffic light system, 280 days) and illness (3.2 million hours lost by the year to June 2021; 800-plus workers infected)
  • Labour costs
    • Construction sector wage inflation
    • Employing people for longer periods due to Covid delays
    • Acquiring expert staff for upcoming phases in a highly competitive international construction market
  • Materials costs, the majority of which are imported
    • 70% of all building products are imported or rely in part on imported components
  • Shipping costs – 785% increase between November 2019 and September 2021 (Global Container Freight Index)

Inflation has impacted construction harder than other sectors and has been one of the major drivers for New Zealand’s highest inflation rate since the June 1990 quarter.

Construction sector inflation is a global phenomenon but New Zealand still has the 7th highest construction price inflation in the OECD. NZTA figures show an increase of nearly 20% in the cost of building supplies in the 18 months to 2Q 2022.

Among the construction supplies sub-categories relevant to the CRL, are:

  • Reinforced concrete floor slabs +13.4% since 2020
  • D32mm rods +13.8%
  • Fibre cement sheets +10%
  • Steel cladding +9.5%

In addition are Covid impacts that are difficult to quantify but have had a material effect on the project. These include negative productivity and lost opportunity costs due to lockdown and illness, ongoing labour constraints, supply chain disruption and resource scarcity.

While COVID bears most of the blame, it seems there has also been some scope changes too.

The funding increase also included “additional scope” for “wider aspects of the job”, including increased property costs.

I assume this relates to other parts of the programme, such as the plans for Henderson Station – even though a cheaper and better solution exists.

One of the challenges with this increase is that Auckland Council are on the hook for half of it. But given lockdowns were outside of Auckland Council’s control, it feels like the government should be contributing a larger amount. But that seems unlikely to happen, with the Herald reporting.

Transport Minister Michael Wood appeared to dash any hope Central Government would come riding to the rescue of budget-constrained Auckland Council, by picking up a larger share of the project’s $1 billion cost blowout, announced this morning. Meanwhile, National warned that the CRL blowout is a taste of the cost increases to come if Auckland light rail gets the green light.

Wood reminded the Council that City Rail Link is a 50-50 partnership with Auckland Council, when asked about who would fund the latest $1 billion cost blowout on the project.

“That is just a point of fact: it’s a partnership that is 50-50 in terms of governance, in terms of costs,” Wood said.

I’m sure that over the coming days and weeks we’ll hear from some naysayers that we need to stop the project, maybe quoting the sunk cost fallacy. But the reality is, the tunnels are already built with tracks and other rail systems already being installed. Sure there’s still a lot to do but it would be short sighted to stop such a massively transformational project now. It will also be interesting to any of those people also called for the stopping of projects like Otaki to North of Levin, which nearly doubled in cost two years ago and has apparently blown out again.

This shows the expected benefits in 2015, but things have changed

Completion Time

Personally, I’m far more concerned about the delay to the completion time as that means actual delays to the transformative benefits the CRL will provide. CRL say it will now take about a year longer but there’s also an additional caveat to that too.

As part of the request, CRL Ltd has also provided the Sponsors with a revised completion date, with construction of the stations and supporting rail infrastructure now expected to be completed by the Link Alliance by November 2025.

Following the end of the construction programme, CRL Ltd will hand over the completed infrastructure to KiwiRail and Auckland Transport, who will then carry out the additional work required to open the CRL to its first passengers.

Firstly, on CRL’s delayed completion, it seems this is mostly to do with the commissioning and testing phase, with them saying this to neighbours of the Te Waihorotiu station.

A large portion of the additional projected time is for underground testing and commissioning, that follows completion of civil construction. Surface level streetscape works are independent from these underground works.

Crucially, that completion date is only when the construction is completed and the project is handed over to Kiwirail and Auckland Transport. This image, from a presentation to the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee back in December, highlights some of the steps those organisations need to do.

That seems like quite a bit to do so it wouldn’t surprise me if we don’t see trains carrying passengers till late 2026.

Kiwirail Track Upgrades

Kiwrail are currently upgrading the foundations and drainage under the tracks across the network through a series of rail network closures – the first section from Newmarket to Otahuhu is due for completion this week with services returning and the Eastern Line closed from next week. A large part of the justification for the very disruptive closures has been so that Kiwirail can get the works completed in time for the opening of the CRL.

With the CRL now opening a year or more later than previously planned, I wonder if this means they could take a less disruptive approach to the remaining sections of line?

Light Rail

Given the cost and timeframe increases for the CRL, this should put even more focus on the Light Rail project. It seems extremely unlikely they’ll be able to stick to the $14.6 billion previously suggested, and with building a tunnel about three times as long, it’s hard to see it not taking till 2035 or later till we actually see services running. That should give officials pause for thought given that based on overseas light rail projects, we should be able to get a surface solution from the city to at least as far as Mt Roskill or Onehunga built in 3-4 years

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    1. But the real question is what are we going to miss out on in order to pay for this hole in the ground. The mayor’s RNZ interview this morning suggests social services will be cut, libraries closed or staffed by volunteers, basically everything the Council does is now under review.

      A project that had a benefit cost ratio of 0.6 back when it was $2billion cheaper is going to make Auckland a worse place to live for most people.

        1. Thanks for the reckon. I must be imagining how busy my local library is every time I go there.

        2. It must be a shared delusion. I’m also imagining my local library being busy every time I visit.

        3. What’s your source? According to a library press release over 9m physical items were borrowed in the year Jul 2020 – Jun 2021 so it seems unlikely there was a massive drop in the following year. And I wasn’t able to get a seat in my local library this morning, it was so busy.

        4. This is a very common delusion. The Devonport librray is full of imaginary people all the time.

        1. PWC gets invited back each time there is a cost increase. They recalculate the Wider Economic Benefits (WEB) and conclude unsurprisingly that they have found a few more under their mattress and the B/C ratio is still positive. Believe it if you want to.

        2. Trust experts that live and die on their professional value or really weird internet people saying the experts are wrong, arguing “trust me bro”?

          Yea, that is a difficult one.

        3. Miffy your opposition to this project is disturbing. I think the issue is not the cost but the share that Auckland is meant / has already paid for it.

        4. Excluding the nebulous WEB, the CRL project had a B/C ratio of 0.3. For every dollar invested it will return 30 cents. But the true cost is the opportunity cost of all of those billions. What will we have to go without now because of a foolish decision? Citizens Advice Bureaus gone? Community services cut back? Improved transport? Stormwater? Half is from central government so what will they have to cut?

          The best anyone can find in favour of this boondoggle is that there are also motorways that are a waste of money. But that is hardly an argument for spending public resources like this.

          One billion extra for Covid is terrible but the first $4billion is a disaster.

        5. Jak perhaps if the consultants issued a public report explaining where they got the additional benefits from and why they didn’t notice them the last time they did the study, maybe that would look more believable. Without that shouldn’t we ask if it is true or if they are perhaps just telling their client what they want to hear? Or maybe even briefed to find more benefits to save the client from embarrassment? But you go ahead and believe anything you like that supports your existing opinion..

        6. Grant this is a case of alternative ‘facts’. The ones put out by a Council agency that would like to build it and is trying to get funding or the ones prepared by Transport and Treasury officials who don’t have any interest either way. The latter said 0.3 and 0.4 with Wider Economic Benefits.

          But with the price going up by another $1billion what are the chances that someone will be asked to update WEB and surprise surprise they will have miraculously gone up be $1billion as well?

          Ask yourself, what does bullshit look like?

        7. Miffy, what transport DO you like? What alternatives DO you offer? I’ve rarely seen anything other than boomer wit and lost jokes.

        8. I think your confusing HS2 with a truly transformative rail project. I really don’t know what your up in arms about, and not do you I think.

      1. Exactly. White elephant implies something that is completely unnecessary and sits there unused. I’m betting, fairly confidently, that this will be the complete opposite of a white elephant – perhaps we should call it a black mouse? It is going to be massively well supported, by heaps of people.

        1. Remember The Herald’s infamous “white elephant” cartoon when the Northern Busway opened?

        2. “To possess a white elephant was regarded—and is still regarded in Thailand and Burma—as a sign that the monarch reigned with justice and power, and that the kingdom was blessed with peace and prosperity.”

          Imagine not being able to afford a white elephant!

      2. If you spin around 5 times in the mirror saying ‘white elephant’ Wayne Brown appears behind you and yells ‘don’t you f**** come ta;k to me’

  1. The Otaki to Levin motorway is in a marginal electorate. That is the primary reason why both main parties support it.

    1. Under MMP marginal electorates don’t really matter. The government is just getting awful advice on that project from Waka Kotahi, who continue to ignore much cheaper alternatives because they’re obsessed with building big new highways.

    1. You’re right that it’s mad Auckland Council needs to pay half the cost of CRL, when other nationally significant projects are fully funded by the government.

      Wayne Brown should refuse to pay a cent. Govt will pay, and should pay.

      1. From the beginning this should have been funded like motorway projects, 100% from central.

        There is no not paying for it now, it is too far done. I suspect this is mostly Wood playing politics. Will be interesting to see what happens post election.

  2. Hilariously there’s a whole big team in the light rail office of highly paid financial people working out in excruciating details how much of the $15b+ light rail project will need to be paid for by Auckland Council.

    That whole project is just in fairyland.

  3. Len Brown’s bad deal to get this started is coming home to roost – no other such huge infrastructure project , ever, has had to be funded by ratepayers. But whatever. Whoever is the the government after the election will stump up most of the cash in some way or another. But no one is going to say that before the election, because funding anything in Auckland is really, really unpopular south of the Bombays.

  4. I really, really hope that building the Beresford St entrance and 9-car platforms won’t lead to the whole project being cancelled. There seems to be an endless cycle where people say “there’s no point doing this unless it’s fully featured and future-proofed for decades” and then being shocked and appalled when the bill comes through.

    On the other hand, should we be demanding EVEN MORE funding so it can be actually done on time?

    1. There is no world in which it would be cancelled at this stage.
      1) sunk cost fallacy is a thing for large orgs like govt.
      2) At this point, every dollar that has been spent is unrecoverable. The “cost to complete” is what matters. At this point we get the full CRL, for spending another billion or so dollars? Totally worth it to continue.
      3) from the optics side of things. The tunnels are dug, the vast vast majority of layman voters would think that it’s worth putting the tracks and stations in. There’s no way there are more swing votes in cancelling it over completing it.

  5. ” we should be able to get a surface solution from the city to at least as far as Mt Roskill or Onehunga built in 3-4 years”

    But we don’t. Because the surface option is dead, because Dominion Road businesses won’t wear it. Simple as that. It’s now tunnel or nothing, and we should be putting our weight behind the proper Light Metro option rather than the current “worst of both worlds” option.

    1. These businesses don’t own the the bus lanes tho.

      Also they need to have their heads checked.
      There is parking over the entire urban area, people can walk a few meter. Having a train moving thousands people per hour past their shops is a massive opportunity.

    2. If the businesses don’t like it they can move to the burbs where someone can park their car in front of the store. People who understand what a boon for business a surface light rail solution would be can move in and set up shop. Activation along the whole route…..

      1. Exactly but these business people were unfortunately brought up in the ‘60s and ‘70s when the trams had been ripped out and replaced by cars, buses and massive motorways. They have no idea of the kind of foot traffic that light rail brings. To them, only cars can bring customers.

    3. If so it’s better to get on with other projects like the NW and come back to the isthmus in 20 years when maybe a few opponents are no longer with us.

      1. Unfortunately, I don’t think that the average person will be more progressive in 20 years. I hope I am wrong!

    4. Absurd reasoning Daphne. A handful of temporary vape shops with a constant vacancy of around 25%, to cause the waste of $10b, and drive whole direction of country’s biggest infra investment?

      All to preserve the failed state of a once vibrant transit street?

      If that’s planning now, lord help us.

      Simple as that.

    5. Someone linked somewhere once (sorry) about how weird it is that temporary commercial tenants can skew a neighbourhood’s future so strongly.
      As mentioned above, vape shops, but really almost every retail store has a very short lifespan – they shouldn’t be able to block development that will benefit the area for what, a century and a half?

  6. Imagine how much it would have cost if they fairly compensated businesses for all the disruption they have caused.

    1. Would have been easy to pay for with a nearby land rate too, would be less than the increase in land values from being in station catchements.

      1. It would have set the template for future projects for compensation and for subsequently taxing land value increases. Plus it would have been the right thing to do.

    2. You mean like they compensate people for being disrupted by motorway and roading works?

      Oh, wait – unless they buy your site, they don’t.

    3. Imagine of motorways/roads had to compensate residents/businesses for noise pollution and climate change they contribute to. But of course, the golden rule is to privatise the benefits and socialise the costs.

      Then the people who get rich off them can talk about how clever they are to make such huge profits and keep their costs low. I hear it all the time from my clients.

      Except when it comes to public transport and cycling. Then its user pays and all external costs must be avoided.

  7. It is abundantly clear,right now,how much heavy lifting the trains do,with the reduced services,traffic is a mess. My past experience with trains has largely been positive, l had confidence in the network doing what it said it would do. CRL and track bed mitigation will deliver that confidence back into the network, frustrating that it has taken so long. Cost in the end ,will be an irrelevance,just getting this “off the ground” took some brave decisions,none of which came from central govt. To turn around now, and expect Auckland ratepayers to further foot the bill,shows central politics at it’s worst, Mayor Brown ,may be useful after all.

  8. It does not matter the cost, the time frame is far more pressing. It is the only chance that this city has of decarbonising in time for 2030 and every dollar in Wellington’s budget must be thrown into Auckland for CRL, Light Rail and Cycling Infrastructure. The Council has proved itself incompetent and with the boomer domination the only thing we can expect is the Big Boom, ie the reverse of the Big Bang, thus sending us all into the oblivion we deserve for doing nothing for so long.

    1. I’d like to think we could get some more mileage out of the ferry network too, if we’re prepared to be stump up some cost to add some wharves and add new stops in places that don’t already have them.

      1. Only if they get rid of Fullers. They couldnt run a piss up in a brewery.

        At a stretch Fullers may be able to run a decent tourist boat operation. But an actual funtioning urban ferry service is simply beyond them. Useless.

        It snot just the staffing issues from COVID, the service has been going downhill for 10 years and took a serious dive when the Kea was scrapped.

      1. Exactly, and by then it will be too late to adapt. People won’t want our milk and meat and we will become a failed Cattle State.

        1. I lived through the sudden demise of the sheep industry in the Hawkes Bay. It wasn’t pretty. When NZ realises that we can’t afford to buy carbon credits that our agriculture industry should be paying for I imagine that won’t be a great outcome either as you say Joe.

  9. I just hope that CRL Limited have some plans in place to stick to the original closure times for Mt Eden Station. There seems little reason why testing and commissioning of the tunnels can’t occur while trains and passengers are using the Western Line platforms to access the network.

    1. I assume zero thought will be put into minimising disruptions for passengers.

      The western line will be shit show in 2024/2025. Hopefully they time this with the formation and the rail crossings closures work, but I always assume the worst now.

      1. As I understand it, the Western line will be back to double track through the Mt Eden station site by the middle of this year.

        1. Sounds fantastic, much more resilient and probably a bit faster.

          I was more meaning the the Formation updating, Kingsland to Henderson. I think/hope it is only one track that needs this. Even then we would lucky to have a 6 month shut down.

  10. Either they are giving COVID-infected workers 2 years off, which would account for the delay; or they are numeracy challenged which might make people worried about the quality of their estimates.
    If 800 workers had a week off work (40 hours), that would be 32,000 hours. How did they incur 100 times that amount?

    1. Perhaps because it spreads in households?
      I don’t know how they did the maths but it’s probably not as simple as you’re suggesting.

    2. I imagine that people who work physically demanding jobs need longer than 7 days to (fully) recover from Covid.

  11. The CRL needs to be completed as it is a major infrastructure asset for the region, if the Auckland region wants to be a livable region. Anyway the CRL is approximately 60% completed.

    I suspect the government will pay to have the CRL completed and split the final cost of the project 50/50 with Auckland Council’s portion as a government loan.

  12. I wonder how often Britomart will be closed. This month the closest the Eastern or Southern trains could get to Britomart or was Panmure or Otahuhu presumably when the Southern line reopens next month they will be able to get to Newmarket when Britomart is closed meaning rail buses will be needed to get to Britormart. It would be good if they could open Parnell or the Strand if Britomart is closed at least we could walk from either of these stations. I suspect Britomart will be closed frequently until the CRL is finished.

  13. To put this cost “blowout” in perspective, the government spent $17,764,000,000 on National Superannuation in 2022 ie the spend is less than 3 weeks National super. And it’s a one off for essential, decades overdue infrastructure.

    1. So what proportion of the cost of allowing old people to live with dignity would you find unacceptable? Seriously dude is this some strange whataboutism or do you not like old people? Seems to me about as relevant as saying it will cost all my taxes for the next 20,000 years.

        1. You mean the people who paid taxes so the previous cohort could collect it and who would have saved more and voted for lower taxes if they had known you wanted to cut their super? The social contract is that super is universal. We all factor that in to our savings.

        2. Is that a royal we?
          I plan on doing what I can to dismantle universal super, and most certainly do not plan on relying on it given its projected unsustainability. Or at least change its source from gst / income onto land.

          Regardless, you made an argument that there is no room to cut super without “allowing old people to live with dignity”. That is demonstrably false.

          Taxes aren’t the thing hoovering up savings in this country, housing and land are, and I’ve reliably been told that retirees should not have to realise any of those gains by moving or getting a reverse mortgage etc. The people who receive super / are set to soon, maximised that housing hoover for the last 50 years. I find the argument that they so graciously gave their taxes in return for a social contract pretty weak. Particularly when that social contract relies on continually ramping up the number of retirees supported by each worker.

        3. Perhaps I should have simply pointed out that the $5.5 billion spent on CRL is an economic cost. It represents resources like concrete, steel and labour that can’t be used elsewhere in the economy.

          National Superannuation isn’t an economic cost it is a transfer payment. The Government takes money in a progressive manner (more from the wealthy) and simply transfers it to older people. All of it is available to be spent. It terms of the economic costs of CRL there really isn’t any comparison with transfer payments which are largely neutral and if anything a positive.

      1. Really Miffy? I am 47. What do you think the chances are of me getting universal super despite paying the top tax ratye for 30 years? I can tell you. A big fat zero when it will be two workers for every pensioner.

        The Boomers, wealthiest generation in the history of the world, has made sure it gets to lick the cream for a bit longer. How is your Gold card going?

    2. But the super payment was budgeted. The CRL cost has blown out by 25% since the project started.

      But hey, if the super payment that keeps me alive offends you I’ll just shuffle off this mortal coil, just to please you!

      1. And the rest. It was $2.5billion and jumped to $3billion in 2016. It went up to $4.4billion in April 2019 then $5.5billion now. That is a 120% increase from the cost used to get this boondoggle going. But wait there’s more. They have cut out a deep station at Newton and cut out the cost of double track to Onehunga which was included in original estimates.

        Currently it seems to be increasing in price at about $5million every week.

  14. I’m not fully buying the impact of COVID. The tunnel they’re building in Melbourne will be finished one year AHEAD of schedule and they had even more lockdowns and cases than we did.

  15. And the recent storm damage has cost NZ between $10b and $20b because NZ has not done its share (spent money) to reduce carbon emissions for years and years and years.

    1. Taka – that’s bullshit. We could spend all the money we wanted to, and more besides, on carbon reduction, and no matter what we do, it would have had no difference to the cause of Cyclone Gabrielle.

      But if we had spent money on environmental remediation, like planting native trees and creating bio-retention swales, that might have made a difference. Collectively NZ is something like 0.02% of the problem, but we can be 100% of our own solution.

      1. So you are in the do nothing to reduce emissions camp. And because much of the rest of the world is too, the world’s climate will be destroyed.
        Native trees are useless if more frequent forest fires destroy them. That they are slow growing is a problem. And if wide swathes of them are destroyed by wind like happened with pines on the central northern plateau planting is a wasted exercise.
        We are the fourth worst carbon emitter per capita in the world. It seems reasonable that we at least do our share to reduce that.

        1. I note that climate scientists have said that climate change made Cyclone Gabrielle 30-40% more likely, and 30-40% more intense. At least they believe that our inaction regarding emissions made a difference.

        2. Maybe the big should split themselves up on paper. Then they can all say “well one area on its own doesn’t change the climate” as well.

        3. ‘Our’ emissions made no difference. You may not like the truth but it is still the truth.

        4. “Our’ emissions made no difference. You may not like the truth but it is still the truth.”
          That’s just intellectual laziness. If you see a ram raid taking place do you think, there are so many it’s useless doing anything because it’s happening everywhere. Every step towards change assists that change to happen.

        5. You’re missing the point. I’m not saying it’s good bad or otherwise. Just that it is.

        6. Our emissions do make a difference. If we do nothing our trading partners are not going to let us get away with that. We will be hit with trade sanctions. It is better to lead the way. You gain experience, knowledge and develop technologies that we can sell to others.

        7. You’re missing the point too. The claim was that the storms were our fault and if we’d done something about our emissions they wouldn’t have happened.
          Which is clearly wrong.

  16. The cost over runs I was expecting but the dates getting pushed out that much is disappointing. Seems a bit vague the time it will take once handed over to Kiwirail & Auckland One Rail.

  17. Welcome to the club!
    Infrastructure projects generally gets well over budget all over the world, be it Covid 19, Ukranian War, sewers, airports, motorways or railways. When systems are up and running usage tends to surge more than expected and hardly no one wants them undone. After the (fantastic) CRL-project I think an automatic light metro-system will be a perfect and future proof development for Auckland rather than surface/street light rail.
    Check Copenhagen with close to similar population as Auckland. They also have an old “S-bane”/heavy rail system stretching to far flung suburbs. It´s now combined with a light metro system built during the last 10-20 years and ongoing.
    Regarding costs here are some comparisons from Sweden. Figures are from Swedish Road Authority Contractor “Svevia” and shows the relation between investment costs for modes distributed by the number of passengers and kilometers, approx. figures, roughly converted from SEK to NZD : Light rail: NZD 2,60, Bus: NZD 2,10, Commuter train: NZD 1,55, Undeground metro: NZD 0,79 – of course figures may vary from country to country but the relations between modes are intersting.

  18. So it’s about $1B per station to explain why things are so expensive here….we are building away from reality and chasing “perfection” and ” future proofing” for basically look-nice train stations.

    P.S for ALK – $30B indicative price. Why we just not delivering every single project on the ATAP list for 10 years combined forecasted of $30B.

    We need to get realistic and move the dirt…

  19. For comparison – the entire Commercial Bay building is about $1B, the NZ International Convention Centre is about $0.9B (after rounds of escalation).

  20. NZ may be about to spend $15b on Lake Onslow to facilitate the use of more EVs that will add 26 tonnes of embedded carbon every time one is imported. Does this make the CRL seem cheap?

    1. That embedded carbon emissions for EVs figure is higher than the total lifecycle figure for EVs I’ve seen thrown around, of which roughly half is in production and the other half from usage. That second half is lower again in a place like NZ with higher renewables.

      So a pinch of [citation needed] here, I think.

  21. Article in the Herald about the Western Ring road completion, showing once again how nobody bats an eyelid of roading cost.

    ‘He said the $1 billion cost of the project – initially budgeted at $700 million – was within the realm of what was expected given cost escalations and Covid-19’

    42% increase and not a peep from anywhere. What a funny world we live in.

    1. You have missed the crucial part:
      ‘At the opening of the motorway connection today, Transport Minister Michael Wood said the final stage of the 48km western ring route included about 10km of walking and cycling paths, extending the Northern Busway to Albany and upgrading the Constellation bus station to give people more transport choices.’
      So this can be probably classified as a $1b project for cycling and PT. Now to build some ‘real’ roads!

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