Well to be honest I wouldn't build the Avondale-Southdown railway line until after a CBD loop, rail to the airport, turning the northern busway into a railway line AND building a Botany/Howick railway line.
It may be an important freight line in the future, but as for passenger trains generally cross-town routes aren't particularly popular internationally.
We have more pressing rail needs.
Paul - yes I guess you could run the conspiracy theory argument. But what I don't get in that regards is why the Road Transport Forum doesn't support public transport, as better public transport would surely reduce the congestion which holds up shifting freight?
Sofie - I am a bit worried about the railway designation (more talk on it here: http://transportblog.co.nz/2009/05/14/another-waterview-connection-post/ ). It seems like life will be difficult for Ontrack to ever build the Avondale-Southdown railway line as most of their designation will have been eaten. Maybe NZTA will ensure that their designation is wide enough to provide for a rail alignment, but that might get messy from a legal perspective as NZTA are not the proper requiring authority for railway works (and therefore wouldn't be able to designate for railway purposes).
Richard - there already is a railway designation though. Therefore, if Steven Joyce was interesting in a balanced transport policy he COULD instruct Ontrack to prepare designs for the Avondale-Southdown railway line, put in an Outline Plan of Works to Auckland City and start building the line in a few months time. Easy peasy. Annoyingly, this motorway looks like it will make that task - if it ever happens - much harder.
Rhema - you make an interesting point. What is obvious (now) is that the NLTF can support $1.4 billion in roading expenditure for the Waterview Connection. Given that the cost of building the full tunnels plus the SH16 upgrade would be ($1.98b + $240 million) $2.38 billion, only a billion would need to be borrowed. So therefore financing would only need to be paid on a billion and not on $2.38 billion. Finance costs seem to be around 23% of the construction cost ($550 million of $2.38 billion), so that would mean around $230 million of finance cost would be necessary - not $550 million.
So we add that up and we realise that the full tunnels could be built for $1.98 billion construction, $240 million SH16 upgrade and $230 million financing. That comes to a total of $2.45 billion, not $2.77 billion. There's still a difference of around $1 billion, but not the $1.5 billion rubbish being thrown about.
He has a Gold Card?
Gold-cards are only valid after 9am. This was before.
Ontrack have the designation. NZTA would only be able to build within their designation if Ontrack agree to it.
So either Steven Joyce put the hard word on Ontrack, or they're just being screwed.
I am guessing that this bill is being passed under urgency as otherwise there'd not be enough time for the transition board to do all its work before the 2010 election.
However, there are some big issues with it:
1) It does create a fait accompli situation where an "Auckland Council" is locked in as an entity, which limits the options available in part 2 of the Auckland reorganisation.
2) The transition board seems to have very little oversight of it, and will be able to limit what councils can to do a pretty extreme extent.
I'm not a fan of urgency, but at the same time I feel suspicious that even bills that go to a select committee won't end up actually having much changed from the input of public submissions. I await to be hopefully proven wrong with regards to the RMA Amendment bill.
Wow we finally see these Auckland bills:
Bill 1 - Passing under urgency at the moment:
Bill 2 - Higher level governance structure stuff:
Does that mean the cost saving comes from using the rail designation, and then if the rail corridor is built, they'll have to buy out the houses down one side of Hendon Ave?
Seems pretty dodgy, lump the costs onto Ontrack to keep within that $1.4 billion price tag.
By the way, the CBD rail loop costs around $1.4 billion - time for a comparative cost-benefit analysis perhaps?
Alan Wood Reserve cross-section: http://www.transit.govt.nz/projects/waterviewconnection/gallery/maps/130509-Alan-wood-reserve-x-section.pdf
Traffic management of Great North Road will be interesting. Perhaps a temporary realignment of the road might be necessary while the tunnel is being built?
And yup, got out 3 submissions :-)
Didn't Mt Roskill SH20 stray into the Avondale-Southdown rail designation, but that was OK because enough room was left for a future railway line.
One would assume/hope that the same process happens here.
Duncan, yup Alan Wood Reserve is gone. We can look forward to a motorway out the window.