Board to decide roading future
The future of two huge Auckland roading projects will be decided by expert panels.
Boards of Inquiry have been appointed to oversee the $700 million Northern Corridor project and the $1.5 billion East-West Link.
The Northern Corridor proposal will complete Auckland’s Western Ring Route, establishing motorway interchange connections between SH1 and SH18.
It also includes capacity and safety improvements on SH1 from Constellation Drive to Oteha Valley Rd and on SH18 between SH1 and Albany Highway.
Environment Judge Melanie Harland has been appointed chairwoman of the Board of Inquiry to oversee the project, along with resource management consultant Conway Stewart and civil engineer Nigel Mark-Brown.
The application will involve six notices of requirement and 25 resource consents, and has been deemed a project of national significance by Environment Minister Nick Smith on recommendation of the Environmental Protection Authority.
A new four-lane arterial road between State Highway 20, the Neilson St interchange and SH1 at Mt Wellington in the centrepiece of the East-West Link proposal.
It has also been named a project
‘‘The decisions on these huge transport projects are critical to Auckland's future’’ Environment Minister Nick Smith
of national significance by both Smith and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry, who is involved because construction would mean the reclamation of 18 hectares of the Mangere Inlet.
‘‘There is an additional sensitivity for development projects that impact on the coast and estuaries which must be carefully considered alongside the transport needs of a growing city,’’ Barry said.
Retired High Court Judge John Priestly QC will chair the Board of Inquiry for the East-West Link, along with environment management consultant Michael Parsonson, civil engineer Alan Bickers and independent hearings commissioner Sheena Tepania.
The application includes two notices of requirement and 234 resource consents.
Previous projects such as the Waterview Connection and the Puhoi to Wellsford highway upgrades have also been managed by a Board of Inquiry.
Smith said the process would ensure a robust process, a fair say for communities and a timely decision by the end of the year.
Two major projects aiming to unclog Auckland roads will be decided by boards of inquiry.