Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Waterview Bore

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  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Paul Brislen,

    Ferries are actually quite hard. Te Atatu Peninsula cries out for a ferry, for example, but a pier would have to be built out a very long way in order to offer sufficient water depth at all times. Or there'd have to be a very expensive dredging operation to create and maintain a channel. Those are quite serious hurdles.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Hovercraft might be a solution. Need a beach or ramp at both ends of the journey, though.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    Looking at the 3D overfly graphic it looks like it probably was made in America, given the number of cars that travel in the right hand lane.

    Silly me, no, it is an Auckland thing. Keep left? Yeah right!

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Angus Robertson, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Or an Ekranoplan service.

    Auckland • Since May 2007 • 984 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    That's true, though with Auckland Airport rescue fire boasting that they operate the only hovercraft in NZ I'm not convinced there's the local knowledge and expertise to run an operation that would need at least two hovercraft, probably three.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Angus Robertson,

    Or an Ekranoplan service.

    That's pretty awesome, but I'm not sure it's really practical for a distance of roughly 11km.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Roger, in reply to Joshua Arbury,

    The Avondale-Southdown railway line may actually be needed ... It'd be a pretty cheap extension to the rail network post CRL that could generate significant rail patronage.

    Actually no, the section of the designation climbing up from Onehuna is way too steep for normal trains (although electric can manage a steeper track than diesel). The normal maximum is about 1:50.

    This would mean a very deep cutting (too deep for the width of the designation) or a tunnel through very hard basalt. It is too deep for a cutting and too shallow for a bored tunnel, so you would be stuck with cut-and-cover construction in a right of way too narrow to give access without purchase and demolition of residential properties along the route.

    The uneconomic nature of this line is one of the few things from the 1955 transport plan that still holds true.

    Hamilton • Since Jun 2007 • 179 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Or there'd have to be a very expensive dredging operation to create and maintain a channel.

    It's only 800m to the existing channel coming out of West Park marina, from the tip of Te Atatu Peninsular. At the south end, there's a channel all the way to Te Atatu Bridge, which is why the boat club is there. From West Park, which faces a big commute, the channel already exists. Beachhaven and Greenhithe also have good access.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Great shot! I'm a little jealous of this round, was planning to chuck a photoessay of all this work on Capture, but an infected knee kept me off the bike for a whole week.

    I've been watching this development since it began, since I traverse Gt North Rd constantly, and the other end is right over the back fence of some good friends. They have mentioned many times the excitement of feeling the development literally, the blasting through the bedrock sends some pretty big shockwaves.

    Pretty massive land acquisition on the Gt North Rd end. That pic of Russell's, showing what looks like a big carpark - 6 months ago that was a suburb. Amazing how fast they cleared it.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • LouisM,

    The Western Ring Route project has divided me. Huge amounts of money have been spent on motorways in this country and it's time to stop. Having said that I can see the benefits of the Waterview Connection that it can divert traffic away from the city centre area. Frankly this project should have been built earlier and they should not have built the inner sections of SH1 and SH16.

    Waterview connection is not the world's best project, but at least I can see the benefits. I certainly do not see the benefits of Puhoi to Wellsford Holiday Highway or of the Transmission Gully Wellington project.

    One aspect of the ring route that I completely oppose is widening SH16. This should not happen. Induced demand will simply clog the motorway with more traffic.

    What needs to happen is a Northwest busway. This could take place instead of widening SH16 and would be modelled on the highly successful Northern busway on SH1. This would provide superb benefits of speeding up buses.

    I fully agree with the Auckland City Rail Link project. This is an essential project for many reasons. I call on this government to adopt a more balanced transport budget and spend money on essential projects like the CRL and can money on expensive motorways like Transmission Gully and Holiday Highway.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2013 • 7 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Sacha,

    Alan Wood Reserve

    Don’t know the area, but wondered where the kids from around there will gather and play now.

    Most likely at the new 1400m square skate park on Richardson Road, or the new sports fields (replacing two old ones) or lookout point. The land was pretty scrappy and inaccessible for a long time, and it will have some facilities now. As you noted earlier on Twitter, it's a bit more nuanced than MOAR ROADS.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    The Herald, today on the way out I picked it up looked at the front page and put it back in the box, what surprises me is here was actually some journalism in today's, Friday's, issue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,


    Ah. This is a better pic of the north end.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • Joshua Arbury, in reply to Roger,

    Roger, yes the section from Dominion Road to Onehunga is very difficult and expensive. The section between Dominion Road and the Western Line is easy and cheap and with new stations at Stoddard Road and Dominion Road could be a really nifty little addition to the rail network - one that takes advantage of the capacity opened up by CRL.

    Something like this: http://transportblog.co.nz/2011/11/21/the-avondale-mt-roskill-spur/

    Auckland • Since May 2009 • 237 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Lettuce see icebergs…

    As for Bronagh, it is an official visit.

    Oh of course, visiting sovereign states… she’ll be able to chat with the Queen of Antarctica, or the Prime Minister of Antarctica’s partner and attend the endless round of soirees in and about the ‘meltway’ – I’m not convinced!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7953 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Looks like you've spotted the Queen Privet of Auckland there, too, which will soon be sending it's allergens along 5 major routes, and 2 cycleways.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I noticed in today's DomPost letters page that a certain Helen R. Hughes - NZ's first Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (1987-96) - supports Transmission Gully.

    Confusingly, she shares her name with two unrelated people: a Libertarianz candidate living in the Far North, and a board member of the Centre for Independent Studies.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    I support the concept of TG, but the implementation is unsupportable on economic grounds. A project needs to be more than just a good idea, particularly when it's massively expensive and the country supposedly doesn't have bottomless pots of money.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    While I’m not opposed to TGM per se, there’s been little scrutiny as to why it managed to more than double in cost projection in a few years. And somehow it’s more than just factoring in quake-proofing. The single biggest disagreement more than anything else is who foots the bill. Does TransportBlog have a TGM equivalent of Operation Lifesaver?

    From what I’ve heard, pork barrel politics is big factor in massive cost overruns in megaprojects overseas, and it’s definitely the case with the Holiday Highway. If only the MSM would call bullshit on it - Sinclair Knight Merz already has. Or are they too dependent on car dealer advertising to do so?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5445 posts Report Reply

  • Hugh Sundae,

    Can't believe there is no integration between Great North Road/Pt Chev intersection and the Waterview connection. I'm reminded of the decision to make people walk from Britomart to Vector instead of just putting a stop there.

    Auckland • Since May 2011 • 16 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Hugh Sundae,

    Can't believe there is no integration between Great North Road/Pt Chev intersection and the Waterview connection

    Someone like Joshua can confirm but I think they're trying to separate motorway from local traffic - or Pt Chev would be full of people taking shortcuts to and from the even-busier motorway.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19745 posts Report Reply

  • Christopher Dempsey, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    In my official capacity as Chair of the (former) Eden Albert Community Board, (and on the promptings of Mr Arbury) I wrote to NZTA and Council officers querying the lack of a bus way on SH16.

    The reply was that because the rail line was so near, it was not good sense to duplicate PT modes so close to each other. I then measured (in Google earth) the distance at Te Atatu between the motorway and the rail line; something like 6k's.

    Not sure what they meant by 'near'. I'm sorry to say I rolled my eyes at that point but failed with a follow up letter. Subsequently Phil Twyford picked up the busway baton, thankfully.

    Parnell / Tamaki-Auckland… • Since Sep 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Andrew C, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Those are quite serious hurdles.

    Not to mention the fact that I can often count on one finger the number of off-peak passengers traveling with me on the ferry to Birkenhead.

    Auckland • Since May 2008 • 169 posts Report Reply

  • Duncan McKenzie,

    I was the planner for the community groups that were responsible for persuading the Board of Inquiry for the Waterview Connection to get serious improvements to the project. I also live close to the southern end of the project (near Alan Wood Park) and I continue to be involved with the community liaison for the project.

    NZTA were not keen on funding the 2.4 km of cycleway parallel to the tunnel, which would have left a gap between its (proposed) termination in the middle of Alan Wood Park and Point Chevalier. Thankfully, NZTA were required to fund Auckland Council/Auckland Transport to do the project. It does involve bridges across the railway and the Oakley Creek and some private land acquisition so perhaps I should not have been as disappointed as I was when I learned that it was going to take as long to build as the motorway itself (projected completion 2017). So it will not be able to fulfil one of the roles we saw for it – to provide access to alternative open space for those of us living in the vicinity of Alan Wood Park for the duration of the project.

    I argued for much more open space retention at Alan Wood Park, but because so much of it was railway land which was loaned to the Council, it appeared not to count. (The ownership issue meant that there was very little investment in the park, so the land was kind of rough, not very park-like, and quite lightly used). What’s left of the park is now very constrained with a huge pit and topsoil dump (and continuing rock-breaking and blasting) – and the extent of these works has come as something of a surprise to locals, even those of us who have had continued involvement in the project.

    We did go into some detail about what might be involved in direct motorway connections between SH20 and Point Chevalier – these would have added a level of complexity to the already complex interchange that would have been even more destructive to the community, so we conceded that.

    The project does involve some improvements to Oakley Creek, including “naturalisation” of the Creek at its southern end, as well as the more formal protection of the Creek mouth (where there are many pre-European and European archaeological sites). This is at the expense of course of a motorway alongside and above the Creek (and some shortening of the stream bed). Between these extremes, the Creek will be largely untouched. (I must put a plug in here for Friends of Oakley Creek, a tireless community group who have had huge input into improvements along the course of the Creek).

    We also got some quite major changes to the buildings at either end of the tunnel – relocating a vent stack at the northern end, and getting most of a supermarket-sized building at the other end placed under the ground.

    The project is a monster, but not as monstrous as it could have been!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 53 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Duncan McKenzie,

    Thanks for this, Duncan -- very informative. And thanks also for the work you've put into taming the monster!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

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