13 May 2009

Fight promised against new link road route

3:26 pm on 13 May 2009

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Some residents are vowing to fight the latest plans for the contentious Waterview roading project to the bitter end.

The Government is not going ahead with an expensive tunnel option through Mt Albert to complete the western ring route in Auckland.

A cheaper route and design is to be announced by the Transport Agency on Wednesday. It will be either all above ground or with some small tunnels.

The Waterview Connection will link two state highways. It was to have been a $3 billion tunnel scheme through the suburb, but the Government says it's too expensive.

A road above ground would be unpopular with many residents.

Avondale Community Board chairman and business association leader Duncan McDonald says the community is a very active one and will look at its legal options.

The head of a local primary school in Mt Albert is anxious to find out whether the link road extension will go through the school grounds.

Waterview Primary School principal Brett Skeen says the school and its 160 pupils won't need to move, but the decision has wider implications for students and the community.

The Road Transport Forum says the Government's decision is logical.

Chief executive Tony Friedlander says it is never justifiable to spend almost $3 billion on a tunnel which will benefit only one urban community.