11 Sep 2009

Waterview Connection gets the green light

9:40 pm on 11 September 2009

The $1.4 billion Waterview Connection in Auckland is set to go ahead, with construction to begin in 2011.

The Transport Agency board announced on Friday that the western ring route around Auckland has been confirmed, providing an alternative 48km motorway between Manukau City and the North Shore.

The confirmed route was one of three proposals the board has been considering since May. Many Waterview residents were often vocal in their opposition.

Board chairman Brian Roche says the connection is the last missing link for Auckland's transport network. Completion of the combined surface tunnel connection is set for 2015.

Mr Roche says the main concerns raised during consultation have been air quality, open space and noise.

He acknowledged the Waterview Connection is a major issue for the local community and the board will continue to work with the community as the project begins.

Some 156 houses in Waterview have already been purchased to make way for the road, with another 30 under negotiation.

The Automobile Association is urging a fast start on construction of the roading project.

The association has surveyed 3100 of its members, with 67% saying they want the Waterview Connection opened as quickly as possible, while 89% want the western ring route completed.