The tender processes for the $14.6bn Auckland Light Rail and the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project have opened, marking an important step forward in developing a future-proofed rapid transit network for the New Zealand North Island metropolis.
“The Auckland Light Rail project will provide a 24km route with up to 18 stations or stops from the City Centre to Māngere and the airport. The route will include tunnelled light rail from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill, continuing above ground to the airport running parallel to the SH20 motorway, with the provision of safe walking and cycling options along the corridor and with connections to all stations,” Minister of Transport, Michael Wood said.
“The light rail route will also be integrated with current train and bus hubs and the City Rail Link stations and connections, bringing Auckland’s transport infrastructure into the 21st century, allowing faster trips and reduced emissions. City Rail Link is the heart of Auckland’s transport network, and Light Rail will form the spine of what will be a fully integrated rapid transport network that will lead us into the future.
“It is positive to see the investment certainty brought about by the Government’s commitment to building Auckland light rail. We have seen just this week Auckland Airport announcing a $300M-plus Transport Hub development, which will specifically cater for future mass rapid transit to the airport. By pushing ahead with this project, we are giving certainty to business to make important commercial decisions now, to plan around critical infrastructure,” Wood added.
The tender process for Auckland Light Rail is being co-ordinated with the tender process for the Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project, in order to ensure that the industry professionals who plan and design these projects are able to best plan for the pipeline of infrastructure work coming across Aotearoa.
The Additional Waitematā Harbour Connections project will provide reliable, efficient, and sustainable transport options across the harbour, expanding the city’s existing rapid transit network, completing a strategic walking and cycling link for Auckland, and making the urban roading network more resilient. Planning work on the Waitematā Connections project will begin later this year, with a preferred way forward determined in late 2023.
“Auckland’s population is projected to rise to two million by the early 2030’s. In order to move two million people around our largest city safely and efficiently, we need well-planned and connected infrastructure. We’re not going to repeat the previous mistakes of ad hoc planning and be left scrambling to build infrastructure when it’s too late – this rapid transit system is about making sure Auckland is able to flourish as it grows,” Wood said.