More than 150 individual submissions have been made urging Auckland Transport (AT) to ensure the Matakana link road is built with four lanes from the outset, and not two now, two later, as AT has previously proposed.
An Auckland Council hearing into AT’s notice of requirement, or designation of land, and application for the resource consents required to build the road is being held from March 27 to 29 at the council chambers in Orewa. Submissions made during the consultation period in November will be heard and considered by Council-appointed commissioners.
By far the majority of submissions have said that, due to the amount of existing local traffic and rapid development taking place locally, it is vital for the original plan for a four-lane road to be constructed from the start. Many of these submissions were made following a public meeting held in Warkworth in November objecting to AT proposals to cut the project’s budget and only build a two-lane road initially.
In the Council planners’ report to the hearing, principal planner Alison Pye says that, in her view, the proposed staging approach is appropriate and “no change is recommended arising from the submitters’ requests for amended staging”.
However, AT said last week that it was designating and purchasing land for the full four-lane design, and it “will consider providing capacity for four lanes in stage 1 with any potential savings”, subject to approval by the NZTA and AT Board of Directors.
AT says the detailed design phase has already started, including work to refine the original design and costs, and is programmed to be finished by the middle of the year. Construction is due to start in the last quarter of 2019, though AT says that timing depends on the outcomes of the designation, land purchase and funding processes.
Rodney Councillor Greg Sayers, who has been at the forefront of local efforts to secure a four-lane link road, says that he understands AT wants to build four lanes from the outset, rather than two now and two later, as a result of pressure from the local community, though he adds that it still requires ratification from both boards.