The Hibiscus & Bays Local Board is taking no chances when it comes to ensuring that the Penlink Road is built, despite Government assurances that it is fully funded and projected to start late next year (HM February 5).
Funding for the 7km Penlink Road and bridge from Whangaparaoa Peninsula to Redvale was included in a package of Government investment in Auckland roads announced by Minister Phil Twyford on January 29. Funding of $411 million is set aside, which Government says is enough to build a two-lane road and bridge.
However, the local board is pushing for the road and bridge to be four lanes, saying the $411 million allocated is sufficient to make that happen. The four lane option is favoured to future proof the road for population growth, as well as ensuring a dedicated cycleway and bus lane are included.
At the local board’s March 19 meeting, members unanimously approved member Julia Parfitt’s motion that the board write to Government, thanking them for the funding, as well as confirming the board’s preference for four lanes.
The letter will also ask for initial establishment works, such as site clearance, to commence immediately in order to add certainty to the project.
Member Parfitt said that Penlink had been “a political yo-yo” and that initial works, once done, would make it harder to abandon the project.
“We need to send a clear message that we want to see this happen as soon as possible,” she said.
The local board also asked for a representative of the NZ Transport Agency to make themselves available so members can question them regarding progress.
Local procurement, in order to provide jobs, is also something the board is seeking.
The NZ Transport Agency’s latest timeline for the project shows that the construction contract should be tendered towards the end of this year and let by the middle of next year. Construction is to start late next year, with completion late 2025.