Public shows strong backing for reconnection of city ramp to motorway network

By Mathew Dearnaley

Photo / File
Photo / File

Support for reinstating a key Auckland motorway connection is shown in about 70 per cent of more than 700 public submissions, the Transport Agency acknowledged yesterday.

The Government organisation told Auckland Council's transport committee that it had almost completed an analysis of the submissions and expected to start a new "community engagement" process next week.

It has infuriated communities from Karangahape Rd to Herne Bay by re-thinking a commitment to reopen the Wellington St motorway bridge after completing the $391 million Victoria Park tunnel project in February.

That is despite spending an undisclosed amount, believed to be several million dollars, on upgrading the ramp just south of the 450m tunnel.

Acting highways manager manager Steve Mutton told councillors the agency needed time to assess traffic through the northbound tunnel before assessing gains to the road network against the impact of extra traffic.

But the council committee passed a resolution more than two months ago for the ramp to be reopened, as did the Waitemata Local Board, and the Automobile Association yesterday called on it not to soften that stance.

Committee chairman Mike Lee said the council had a different responsibility from that of the agency, which sought maximum throughput of its new motorway infrastructure.

"Our problem is that the Wellington St on-ramp was built decades ago and a whole pattern of living has been built around that amenity."

Mr Lee said the agency already had a spare central city off-ramp, after switching to a replacement link to Nelson St several years ago, "and to have an on-ramp surplus to requirements seems a little bit careless".

- NZ Herald

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