Hear­ing be­gins on $1.8 bil­lion road

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - 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 was iden­ti­fied as one of the Gov­ern­ment’s roads of na­tional sig­nif­i­cance and would con­nect State High­way 1 at Sylvia Park to State High­way 20 at One­hunga.

The board of in­quiry runs from June 27 to Au­gust 25 at the Eller­slie Events Cen­tre with a fi­nal de­ci­sion ex­pected by Novem­ber 22. A draft de­ci­sion is due on Oc­to­ber 9.

NZTA said the project was de­signed to ease con­ges­tion and im­prove travel times be­tween the One­hunga to Pen­rose in­dus­trial hub.

The area em­ploys about 68,000 peo­ple and con­trib­utes $4.6b a year to Auck­land’s econ­omy, NZTA said.

The draft time­line said con­struc­tion would be com­pleted by 2025 if the project was ap­proved.

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

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

NZTA/SUP­PLIED

The link will im­prove travel times be­tween the One­hunga to Pen­rose in­dus­trial hub.

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