Hear­ing be­gins on $1.8 bil­lion road

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JACK­SON THOMAS

Auck­lan­ders get the chance to have their say on an­other ma­jor road­ing project as the East West Link pro­posal goes to a board of in­quiry.

The $1.8 bil­lion road would be New Zealand’s most ex­pen­sive road­ing project ever, eclips­ing the soon-to-be opened Water­view Con­nec­tion which cost $1.4b. The four lane link would con­nect State High­way 1 at Sylvia Park to State High­way 20 at One­hunga.

NZTA said the project was de­signed to ease con­ges­tion and im­prove travel times be­tween the One­hunga to Pen­rose in­dus­trial hub - an area that em­ploys about 68,000 peo­ple and con­trib­utes $4.6b a year to Auck­land’s econ- omy.

The board of in­quiry is be­ing held at Eller­slie Event Cen­tre from June 27 to Au­gust 25. A fi­nal de­ci­sion is the ex­pected by Novem­ber 22 with con­struc­tion com­pleted by 2025.

The En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Author­ity (EPA) re­leased a re­port ear­lier this year show­ing 685 peo­ple sub­mit­ted on the pro­posal.

The num­ber of sub­mis­sions op­pos­ing the project in full or in part was 582, or 85 per cent.

In Novem­ber, Maun­gakiekie MP Pe­seta Sam Lotu-Iiga ex­pressed con­cerns about the de­sign of the project and the amount of pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion and trans­parency.

A com­puter gen­er­ated im­age of how the East West Link would look in One­hunga.

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