Work begins on huge city transport project
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