The New Zealand Government has proposed five options for a second harbour crossing in Auckland which aims to address worsening congestion in the nation’s biggest city.
Transport Minister Michael Wood said the options were identified after considering feedback from Aucklanders who currently only have one way to get across the Waitemata via the near 64-year-old Auckland Harbour Bridge.
Waka Kotahi is referring to the proposed solutions as “scenarios” as each option contains elements which can be exchanged with each other where fit.
These include building a tunnel, a bridge, or a combination of both which could link each side of the harbour in a number of different locations.
Regardless of which one is chosen, they will all be joined by a walking and cycling link, as well as a light rail connection to the city centre and a new road for private cars and trucks.
The five scenarios include:
- A new light rail tunnel from the city centre to Takapuna via Belmont and a new road tunnel to the east of the existing Harbour Bridge. Walking, cycling and buses will use reallocated space on the Harbour Bridge.
- A new bridge next to the existing Harbour Bridge for light rail, walking, cycling and three additional general traffic lanes (a total of five in each direction). Light rail is connected between the city centre and Takapuna.
- Tunnelled light rail to the west connecting the city centre to Takapuna via Birkenhead, Northcote and Akoranga Station. A new bridge for road traffic directly between the central motorway junction and Sulphur Beach. Walking and cycling provided on the new bridge linking Westhaven to Sulphur Beach.
- A new bridge next to the existing Harbour Bridge for light rail, walking and cycling landing at Sulphur Beach. This route connects light rail from the city centre to Takapuna. A new road tunnel will link the central motorway junction and Akoranga Drive.
- A new bridge for light rail and walking and cycling from the city centre to Sulphur Beach. This route connects light rail from the city centre to Takapuna. A new road tunnel will link the central motorway junction and Akoranga Drive.
The cost for each of the five proposed options has yet to be revealed.
“Aucklanders and businesses have made it clear that the biggest barriers to the success of Auckland is persistent congestion and after years of inaction by the previous government we are on track to fix it,” said Wood.
“We want an unclogged, connected, and futureproofed transport network so Aucklanders can get to work on time, and don’t need to wake up earlier just to get their kids to school – it’s vital that we have a harbour crossing that works for the city.”
Feedback from the public will be taken into consideration for the final decision which will be confirmed in June 2023. You can have your say here between 30 March and 1 May 2023.
Construction of the second Auckland harbour crossing is slated to begin in 2029 according to Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.