The latest twist in Auckland’s Waterview motorway saga is that
more of it will go underground
and less houses will be threatened. The New Zealand Transport Agency says that the number of houses affected
will now drop from 365 to 205
Of course, that is a good thing. But we are yet to be convinced this hugely expensive project – $1.4billion for 4.5 kilometres – should be given such a high priority. I should say $1.4 billion and counting because the NZTA’s Wayne McDonald said on Radio New Zealand that they haven’t yet worked the extra cost of Waterview Connection Mark IV. Could be $100 mil, or $400 mil – who knows? The tunnelling will now have to be pretty deep under the lower reaches of Oakley Creek.
The government/NZTA priorities are all wrong. On the same day NZTA announced the revised project, Auckland’s airport company complained about the draft Auckland transport strategy which envisages a dedicated city-to-airport public transport corridor by……2040!!
The Waterview Connection is due to be completed by 2016, just four years shy of peak oil – according to the International Energy Agency
chief economist Fatih Birol
– when the price of petrol will go through the roof.
When peak oil arrives won’t it be more use to have a dedicated rail line to the airport, with an extension between Onehunga and Avondale (as has been projected since the 1950s) to carry the people who won’t be able to afford much car travel.
As for Waterview School, which has led the fight against many of the detrimental affects of the motorway, the revised project doesn’t seem to be of any help. The school kids will still suffer cars from the fumes and noise of cars coming out of the tunnel right next to the school.