Park & ride hits speed bump

The cost of building an interim park & ride on the former Atlas site, on State Highway 1 (SH1) just north of Warkworth, has ballooned to $5.6 million.

The park & ride is one of the projects being funded by the Rodney Local Board’s targeted rate introduced in 2018.

In August last year, the Board was estimating that it would build two park & rides – at Warkworth and Huapai or Kumeu – for between $3m and $6m.

It expected resource consents to be lodged by the end of September and the tender for the physical works to be advertised in November.

However, an investigation report found that the Warkworth site has asbestos and hydrocarbon contamination. Auckland Council’s community facilities department plans to demolish the existing building structures but won’t touch the soil contamination works.

This job will fall to Auckland Transport which has started a redesign of the car park site to minimise the cost of soil contamination removal, which is estimated at around $883,000.

The park & ride will include five P5 spaces (kiss and ride), 10 P240 spaces, 112 general spaces, four accessible spaces and bike racks – 131 spaces in total. Two toilet blocks supplied by AT will be installed near the entrance to the site.

New northbound and southbound bus stops will be provided on SH1 and a new southbound bus stop on SH1 will be accessed by a signalised pedestrian crossing.

A central raised boardwalk will cross the full length of the site to service the car park users and to provide safe pedestrian access to the bus stops within the car park and on SH1.

An additional new concrete path is proposed outside of the car park area at the northern perimeter of the park and ride. Council’s Kowhai Park walkway/cycleway project will provide a budget for this new 2.5m concrete path.

Construction of the park & ride was planned to start in October, but this is likely to be revised following the Covid-19 lockdown. The project is expected to take eight to 10 months to build.

Ring fenced

The Rodney Local Board Transport Targeted Rate is ring-fenced for transport projects not included in the Regional Land Transport Plan 2018-2028, and supports and funds new interim park and ride facilities at Warkworth and Kumeu/Huapai, new footpaths, new bus stops and bus services.

Originally, potential projects were allocated so that each subdivision within the Board area received a proportion of the benefits equated to the proportion of the revenue collected from that subdivision.

A report to this month’s Board meeting stated that it was clear that some of the initial estimates for the park & rides would be substantially exceeded by actual costs. This will require changes to the projects proposed within each subdivision, if the original concept of proportionality is to be maintained.