Construction on the new Rotokauri Transport Hub has resumed after the Covid-19 lockdown and expected to be completed at the end of October.
The timing meets the proposed November launch date of the new Hamilton-to-Auckland passenger rail service.
The new hub, which will include a park and ride, rail station, bus interchange and pedestrian connection to The Base, will also be a key interchange for the new rail service.
Councillor Ewan Wilson, Hamilton City Council's representative on the rail governance working group, says restarting the project, and initiating the start-up passenger rail service, is an important step in supporting the local and regional economy.
"The council and its contractors have done everything possible to maintain momentum on key projects in recent months. This new service isn't just about safer transport options, it's also about offering social and business connections and another boost to domestic tourism which will play a huge part in our country's economic recovery post-Covid-19," Mr Wilson said
The council's development general manager, Chris Allen, says there's no getting around the impact the Covid-19 shutdown has had on our project, but the team have worked closely with our contractor to establish this revised completion date.
"Given the current climate and the health and safety guidelines in place onsite good progress has been made these last couple weeks on the rail platform, roading upgrades, passenger bridge and stairs," Mr Allen says.
Hamilton City Council is building the new Transport Hub at Rotokauri and upgrading the Frankton station with funding support from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
The Waikato Regional Council is operating the service, working alongside Hamilton City Council, KiwiRail, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Waikato District Council and Auckland Transport.
The transport hub project includes:
A new rail platform to initially provide for two return train services a day to the Papakura train station in Auckland, where connections could be made to the wider rail network.
A bus interchange including bus bays and a platform
A park and ride facility which will provide car parking for rail and bus passengers, including mobility parking, electric vehicle parks, designated drop-off/pick-up zones and a taxi stand.
An over-rail pedestrian bridge to safely connect the Hub and The Base – creating a safe way to get to the station across the rail.
New and improved walking and cycling connections along most of Tasman Rd and along a new road (not yet named).
Changes to how people can drive, walk and cycle along Tasman Rd.