KRd upgrade already $5m over budget
A much anticipated upgrade to Karangahape Rd is estimated to be $5.3 million dollars over budget before work has even begun.
Auckland Council-controlled organisation Auckland Transport (AT) recently completed a review of costs for the enhancement of Karangahape Rd (K Rd) and the installation of a cycleway.
In September the project had a budget of $11.7m, which rose to $13.5m in April. However, AT now estimates the upgrade will cost $17m - or 45 per cent more than originally intended.
Of the $17m $4.5m was specifically for the cycleway.
The improvements will begin on the intersection of K Rd and Ponsonby Rd, and include a section of Upper Queen St, ending at Symonds St. It will upgrade the streetscape and provide new cycle lanes, bus lanes and pedestrian access.
In 2015 environmental group Generation Zero campaigned for K Rd to get a protected cycleway. It garnered support from 100 businesses and a petition with 2500 signatures.
Generation Zero spokesman Leroy Beckett said it was a crucial piece of cycling infrastructure and it needed to built as soon as possible.
‘‘It’s one of the busiest roads for people on bikes and it’s really dangerous at the moment,’’ Beckett said.
‘‘It’s worth investing money here, because we have been so far behind in our cycling infrastructure. We need to invest in getting it up to scratch so people can feel safe.’’
AT walking, cycling and road safety manager Kathryn King said it was working through details of the design and might look at altering the project’s scope. It would also review the quality and costs of materials.
‘‘It is too early to say what some of the changes could be,’’ King said.
It was normal for costs to fluctuate, and AT faced increased construction costs since the 2015 budget was set because of market forces, she said.
King said with Auckland gaining 45,000 new cyclists last year the protected cycleway was particularly exciting.
Construction will begin next year.