Work be­gins on huge city trans­port project

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Am­ber­leigh Jack

Mayor John Banks turned the first sod last week to mark the start of Auck­land City Coun­cil’s big­gest pub­lic trans­port project since the Brit­o­mart re­de­vel­op­ment.

Mr Banks says the $46 mil­lion cen­tral con­nec­tor project is part of a strat­egy to get peo­ple out of their cars and into pub­lic trans­port.

The ded­i­cated bus cor­ri­dor be­tween New­mar­ket and the cen­tral city aims to cut 14 min­utes off peak travel times.

Work be­gan last week on Anzac Ave to widen the road and add bus lanes and pedes­trian cross­ings.

Park­ing has been re­moved on both sides and the re­stric­tions will re­main in place through­out con­struc­tion.

Work to strengthen Grafton Bridge is ex­pected to start in Novem­ber.

The bridge will be closed dur­ing con­struc­tion and the coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing keep­ing it off-lim­its to private traf­fic dur­ing the day once it’s built.

Auck­land Univer­sity stu­dent Somi Kim trav­els to the city daily and says the con­struc­tion will cause a ma­jor dis­tur­bance to the pub­lic since “traffi in the city is so bad al­ready”.

But Anzac Ave work­ers are less con­cerned.

“It’s just started so we don’t know how big a prob­lem it’s go­ing to be,” says Glo­ria cafe man­ager Veronika Vaikona.

Copthorne Ho­tel man­ager Katie Sc­holes says the end re­sult will be good for Anzac Ave.

Mr Banks says dis­rup­tions are nec­es­sary “if we’re to be­come an in­ter­na­tional city in to­day’s trans­port in­fra­struc­ture”.

The cen­tral con­nec­tor is due to be com­pleted in 2010. – Am­ber­leigh Jack is an AUT jour­nal­ism stu­dent

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