$785m Auckland bridge could be scrapped

An illustration of the proposed Northern Pathway for walking and cycling across the Waitemata...
An illustration of the proposed Northern Pathway for walking and cycling across the Waitemata Harbour. Photo: Waka Kotahi/ NZ Transport Agency
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson wants the Government to bring forward work on a second Waitematā Harbour crossing in Auckland, likely to be a tunnel.

It is understood that the Government is also considering scrapping its $785 million walking and cycling bridge over the harbour.

On Tuesday, Robertson would not confirm that the walking and cycling bridge would definitely be going ahead, only that the bridge was the current proposal.

When asked whether he would renege on building the bridge, Robertson said "we continually look at the network and the programme to make sure that it works well".

"We do want to find ways of connecting the North Shore and the isthmus for people on all different modes of transport - the exact way we do that, we've come up with a proposal, and we're working that through."

Robertson would not say whether the bridge would definitely happen, however it was the current proposal.

"That is the proposal we are working on," he said.

The bridge has come under severe criticism since it was announced in June this year, focusing on its poor value-for-money and the fact it was announced at the same time as the Government scrapped a host of expensive roads.

Robertson said he wanted a solution that treated all modes fairly. The current plan for the bridge only serves two modes - walking and cycling. Private vehicles and public transport are not included.

"What I'm saying is it is a transport network - we need to make sure that all modes get a fair go."

He said his personal view was the Government was not talking enough about the work it was doing on the other Auckland harbour crossing, likely to be a tunnel under the harbour.

Robertson said that "work is under way on the so-called second harbour crossing", and the Government was doing the "planning and work and looking at the geotechnical issues around that".

"I believe it is something that if we can bring forward, we should."

The construction on that crossing, which should cost more than $10 billion, is not scheduled to begin until the 2030s. It could include a rail line and space for private vehicles, although just what the tunnel would carry has not been decided.

National campaigned on bringing forward a second harbour crossing at the last election.

Leader Judith Collins agreed it should be brought forward.

"It's all about whether or not we have another bridge or a tunnel," she said.

"The tunnel is an optimal solution.

"We're not in Government at the moment, but I can tell you we will not fund, nor will we deliver on a cycle bridge over the Waitematā Harbour."

 

Comments

I don't know what people are getting upset about !
Of course it was just a proposal !!!
Just like building 100,000 kiwibuild homes, keeping the price of housing down, assisting new home buyers, reducing homelessness, reducing child poverty, stopping the use of coal for electricity generation, reducing the use of plastics, reducing our CO2 emissions, and getting more people on public transport.
I'm sure there is more. It's just I've stopped listening and have developed this cynical streek.
Oh, yes, the new Dunedin hospital !!!
Six stories high; with how many beds ???
I sometimes wonder (once or twice a day, sometimes more) if government should stick to governance like the name implies.
What we are getting is the centralised control of the means of supply and production beyond what governments can supply and produce.
I know it's fun playing in the big boys sandpit, especially if you've never been there before but isn't governance the supervision of the sandpit activity to make sure everyone gets an opportunity to show us what they contribute, NOT showing how virtuous you believe your intentions to be or how clever your ideas are.

"...government should stick to governance.." so private construction and maintenance of roads, rail, health care, etc? Not sure that would be better. Fine to have a cynical streak, but do you have a better option? Can you think of a private company that would undertake construction of a tunnel or bridge across Auckland harbour? What would you suggest as a better option for the hospital?

That said, 800 million on a bridge or 10 billion on a tunnel both sound expensive. It would take lifetimes of my taxes to pay for either. It is good they are continually looking at options. And it is a little ironic that Robertson says "we need to make sure that all modes get a fair go..." when cars have held the main focus for decades.

NZTA have a statement of intent and are governed by Government Policy Statement on land transport 2021/22 – 2030/31.
Did they make any promises, sorry proposals, after a group of agitators interrupted traffic on the Auckland bridge?
Imagine trying to run NZTA and then some pollie decides they can make personal capital by identifying with an agitator group?
It must be a nightmare, because the next thing that happens is the pollies opposite number says, 'we'll go one better.
Private companies will do the building because we don't have a Ministry of Works any more. Not saying I'd like to see them back.
NZTA statement of intent "is of a land transport system that connects people, products and places for a thriving Aotearoa New Zealand." They have a budget and income stream so let them get on with the job, without pollies trying to buy our votes with our money.
The hospital site was a political choice that is going to disrupt the core of the city.
The current circus is NOT funny anymore. It's getting pathetic and boring.
Even Bill Maher in the USA is waking up to the Woke regarding universities.
Do you think ours are any better?
Enjoy.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter