Verve Article - July 2015

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Look out for the East-West Link

These days, I’m no stranger to the journey from Auckland Airport to suburbs of the Epsom electorate. One of the areas that can hold things up is the Onehunga-Penrose area. 

Auckland is booming. But with growth comes traffic congestion. To keep the city moving the Government is investing heavily in transport infrastructure, across all modes. Thanks to a recent announcement by Transport Minister Simon Bridges, we are starting to see some of the results of that commitment.

The Onehunga-Penrose industrial hub is a significant contributor to our economy - generating $5 billion per year in GDP and employing over 64,000 people. 

Many of our largest distribution and logistics facilities are based in the area because of its access to key road and rail routes, but its heavy congestion is slowing freight movements and restricting growth.

We need to address these congestion issues to ensure that we can meet the future demands for cross-city, east-west movements that projected growth rates in Auckland are going to generate.

The NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport have announced a preferred route has been chosen for the East-West Connections project.

The project has been brought forward as a result of its inclusion in the Auckland Accelerated Projects package, announced by the Prime Minister in 2014. This is a $375 million package to accelerate key transport projects in the city. $10 million of that investment was focused on speeding up the investigation of options for the East-West Connection.

When the project is completed, the East-West Connections project will improve freight flow through the Onehuna-Penrose hub, improve public transport through dedicated bus lanes between Māngere, Otahuhu and Sylvia Park, and improve pedestrian and cycling facilities in the area, with 5.5 km of new or improved routes.

The Link is one of many major investments the Government is making around Auckland. We have spent $340 million on the Victoria Park Tunnel, $150 million on the Newmarket Viaduct, $1.4 billion on the Waterview Connection and $1.6 billion electrifying metro rail in Auckland, just to name a few. And with future plans such as the Puhoi to Wellsford highway, the City Rail Link, and the wider Auckland Accelerate Package, we’re set to continue our investment in Auckland’s future.

We are fully committed to developing the infrastructure our largest city needs to prosper and grow, so we can improve living standards for Kiwi’s all over New Zealand.