Tide rising on restoration
Campaigners aiming to restore Onehunga’s foreshore are making a last-ditch plea to central government for help.
The Onehunga Enhancement Society has launched a petition asking for restoration to be included as part of a planned State Highway 20 upgrade.
Chairman Jim Jackson says time is running out before Transit start work on the motorway widening.
“We’re at the 11th hour now,” he says.
Mr Jackson says they’ve received strong political support for the idea, but no funding commitment.
“They all say it’s a great idea, but when you say you’ve got to put funding in they run for miles.”
Transit has twice delayed submitting its outline of works to Auckland City Council, but now expects to lodge it within days.
Once accepted by council, work can start on the motorway.
Transit’s plan for State Highway 20 between Mangere Bridge and Queenstown Rd was partly approved by resource consent commissioners last year.
But planned reclamation and upgrade work on the Gloucester Park interchange was scrapped after commissioners called for more mitigation.
Instead Transit plans to widen the motorway within the existing designation.
Onehunga residents say that will sever the waterfront from the community and continue decades of neglect.
They are calling for a $33 million restoration scheme, including 11 hectares of harbour reclamation to create sandy beaches and waterfront reserves.
The motorway would be realigned to the west, allowing for a buffer of trees next to Onehunga lagoon and an underground utilities corridor.
A Transit spokesman says the outline of works is likely to be submitted by the middle of this month, and staff are currently in discussions with Auckland City Council.
The outline will cover motorway widening from the north side of the Manukau Harbour bridge to Queenstown Rd.
To download the petition, go to www.toesociety.org. nz.