Last week the NZ Herald reported that the NZTA was once again looking at making changes to the design of the Waterview project
Designers of Auckland’s $2 billion Waterview motorway tunnels project are trying to solve congestion and safety problems at a three-tiered interchange between two state highways.
Among 12 options under consideration are shifting Great North Rd to the west through Waterview, and then sending it over the new motorway interchange en route to Pt Chevalier, instead of under it.
The Transport Agency said these were only preliminary ideas, with no formal standing.
But they had to be refined into a short-list before decisions could be made on whether to deviate from an earlier proposal presented to a Government-appointed board of inquiry.
I assume that these investigations into new designs have come about mainly due to the decision to use a TBM to bore the tunnels and that the NZTA and the construction alliance is looking at ways to minimise costs and possibly disruption. We saw that at the end of last year and again in February the agency started raising the idea of shifting the ventilation stack from what was designated by the Board of Inquiry (BOI), something that really upset the locals and eventually resulted in the NZTA dropping the idea. It would be really interesting to see the short listed designs when they get to that stage but no matter how good they are, I can’t see it being easy for them to get agreement from the locals for them.
Also on the subject of Waterview, at their last board meeting, the Auckland Transport board approved for officers to move to the next stage of designating and constructing a walkway/cycleway to join the one along SH20 to SH16, something that they were required to do as part of the BOI process. Here is the executive summary to the report.
The Waterview cycleway is the missing link in the off road cycle network linking Manukau / Waitemata harbours and the CBD. The cycleway follows the path of the SH20 Waterview motorway project. The provision of a cycleway / shared path is a condition of the decision on the Waterview motorway connection designation by a Board of Inquiry.
A preferred corridor alignment has been identified between Alan Wood reserve, Mt Albert and Great North Road, Waterview to provide continuous cycleway provision. The preferred alignment is shown in Attachment 1.
The SH20 Waterview Board of Inquiry conditions outline that Auckland Transport is required to prepare a concept design and obtain the necessary land owner and statutory approvals for the cycleway. Should Auckland Transport be successful in obtaining the required approvals, NZTA would fund and implement the cycleway in accordance with condition SO.14 to a sum equal to $8 million in June 2011 New Zealand dollars (with any construction costs above that figure being met by the Auckland Council).
The preferred corridor for the cycleway will provide for a 4m off road facility connected by bridges across the rail corridor and Oakley Creek. The next steps are to progress a Notice of Requirement to designate the route, undertake developed designs and land negotiations with relevant land owners.
The proposed budget to progress investigations and land negotiations prior to utilising NZTA contribution is identified in the current cycle and walking capex budget.
And here is the preferred route
And some of the other route options that were investigated