The next stage of the Eastern Busway from Pakuranga to Botany in Auckland is gathering pace despite the pandemic’s challenges, according to Auckland Council.
This section of the busway has a budget of $867 million and additional funding has recently been assigned to prioritise the delivery of this significant project for Auckland, Council said in a statement today.
The Eastern Busway forms part of the region’s rapid transport network and will create separate lanes for buses to connect people from Botany, Pakuranga and the surrounding suburbs with the rail network in Panmure. It is being jointly funded by the NZ Government, Auckland Council and the Regional Fuel Tax.
The project includes cycling and walking paths, safety, environment and roading improvements and a new Reeves Road flyover, giving people a range of transport options and more reliable journey times.
“The success of projects such as the Northern Busway shows that when Aucklanders have the option to use rapid and convenient public transport services, they are more than willing to do so,” says Mayor Phil Goff.
“The benefits of the Eastern Busway will be wide-ranging. As well as enabling people to get around more quickly via public transport, it will increase access to jobs and education, attract investment and growth, and enable urban development.
“The Eastern Busway project will also help address traffic congestion and reduce carbon emissions, helping us to achieve our climate change goals and contributing to improved air quality in our region. It will form another key part of the 21st-century transport network that Auckland needs to succeed.”
Property owner and community consultation is about to begin on the current design of the busway from Pakuranga to Botany and will continue in early 2022.
Mayor Goff said feedback from the engagement will help the project team to better understand the local context, the needs of the diverse and growing East Auckland population, and the impact of the proposed changes.
“We are keen to work together to ensure the community needs are addressed and that momentum of the project is maintained so that it is delivered on time.”
Meanwhile, the Panmure to Pakuranga section of the busway is almost complete, with its opening planned for mid-December 2021.
Auckland Transport has formed the Eastern Busway Alliance with Fletcher, Acciona, AECOM and Jacobs to design, consent and deliver the Pakuranga to Botany section of the Eastern Busway.
Project Alliance Board Chair, Dean Kimpton says the alliance partners are excited to be part of a project that will contribute wide-reaching social and economic benefits to the Auckland region.
Creating a connected and sustainable rapid transit network will help people get around Auckland more easily. When the project is completed it will provide 7km of free-flowing busway from the Panmure Train Station to Botany, he said.
“This ‘turn up and go’ rapid transport service along with safe, separated walking and cycling routes will make it easier to connect with the wider Auckland region and enable people to get to school, work and the shops,” says Shane Ellison, Chief Executive of Auckland Transport.
Alongside the busway there will be 12 kilometres of protected cycleways and footpaths. Parts of Ti Rakau Drive will be widened to make space for the busway and 5 bus stations. The station designs include parking for scooters and bikes and green roofs, collecting solar energy and rainwater.
“We are working together with mana whenua so that when the new bus lanes are built we’ll restore and enhance the landscape with more trees, planting and rain gardens that capture and reuse stormwater,” says Mr Ellison.
Site investigation work is currently taking place at several locations in the Pakuranga and Botany areas. The work is helping the alliance to understand the ground conditions and exact locations of underground services including water, electricity and gas pipes. The information being gathered is critical to support development of the design.
Construction is expected to start in 2022 and to be completed in 2026 subject to consent approvals and the easing of current pandemic restrictions.
Find out more at easternbusway.nz