Yesterday I headed out to Panmure for the opening of the new Ellerslie-Panmure bridge as well as to see what progress had been made on the upgraded station. What was interesting is that Transport minister Gerry Brownlee attended to officially open the bridge which was odd as he hasn’t been present at any other recent events like the opening of the Wiri depot. AT Chairman Lester Levy, Len Brown and Gerry Brownlee all spoke at the opening with enough smoke blown in Gerry’s direction by Len those present were lucky not to choke to death. On Sunday cars and trucks will be able to start using the new bridge with the bridge they are currently using eventually becoming part of the new AMETI busway. Here is the press release from Auckland Transport today.
A major milestone in the first phase of the $1.5 billion Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI) has opened three months ahead of schedule.
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee, Mayor Len Brown and Auckland Transport Chairman Dr Lester Levy have cut the ribbon on the traffic bridge, a key part of the first phase of AMETI.
Since the old Ellerslie-Panmure Highway bridge was demolished during the Christmas period, traffic has been temporarily using a new bridge built for a future busway. From Sunday 4 August, traffic will be redirected onto the new bridge which runs from Panmure Roundabout to Forge Way.
The current AMETI construction also includes a new Panmure Station building and upgrade, a 1.5km north-south road, a 220m tunnel next to the station for the new road, improvements to Van Damm’s Lagoon reserve, cycle lanes and footpath improvements.
Mayor Len Brown says AMETI will unclog Auckland’s east by providing better transport choices and will create jobs by unlocking the area’s economic potential.
“Phase one will have benefits for both the Panmure community and people travelling to, from and through that part of Auckland,” says Mr Brown.
“Phase two of the project will unlock further benefits for transport in the area once the Panmure roundabout is removed and a busway from Panmure to Pakuranga town centre is built.”
Auckland Transport Chairman Dr Lester Levy says AMETI is Auckland Transport’s largest construction project which on completion will see the delivery of the first major infrastructure in the area for a number of years.
“It’s fantastic to see this project taking shape and my congratulations go out to the AMETI team who have worked hard to get the bridge completed ahead of schedule. This major project will see an integrated approach to improving transport – with work on roads, public transport, walking and cycling infrastructure. When the new Panmure Station building is completed, commuters and residents will benefit from a much easier transfer between buses and trains.”
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says, “I’d like to offer my congratulations to Auckland Transport and Fletcher Construction for delivering this milestone for the first phase of the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative. Improving the transport links in this economically important part of Auckland is the government’s next major focus for Auckland’s transport network.”
All three of the bridges scheduled as part of Phase One of AMETI are now complete and the roof is currently being built for the tunnel. The bridges have been built higher and longer to allow for rail electrification.
The NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Council are major funders of AMETI.
And here are some images of the event.
After the event I also took a look around to see how some of the other aspects of the project are going. Here is the new local road that is being built on top of the tunnel with the station building in the background.
Here you can see the station itself. The new shelters going in show that the platforms will be wider than they are now.
There is apparently space for a third track down the side here.
A bit of a plaza area at the Mountain Rd Bridge, as cars seem to be able to move through here alright, the orange barriers suggest that perhaps engineers could have pushed out the pedestrian area a little bit more.
Here is the new AMETI road under construction. It is still quite a way off yet.
And the tunnel which is underneath the local road shown earlier.
Lastly, here is an image from Auckland Transport showing what the area should look like if you have a helicopter once everything is finished. You can quite clearly see the busway to the north of the road along with the intersection which will replace the current roundabount. I don’t know about you but all of the empty land (as a result of the current works), the car yards and the old factories and around the area look ripe for intensification. I hope the station was designed to be capped and built over