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'It's a kick in the teeth' — Judith Collins slams Government's cycle bridge plan

The announcement of a second harbour bridge in Auckland is a kick in the teeth considering other projects have been cancelled, National Party leader Judith Collins says.

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She said the Government had recently cancelled and delayed projects in the growing residential areas of South Auckland that she believed were of a higher priority. Source: 1 NEWS

The Government this morning confirmed it wanted to build a new separate bridge for cyclists and walkers alongside the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Collins responded at the Westhaven Marina on central Auckland's waterfront.

She said the Government had recently cancelled and delayed projects including at Mill Road, the train station and widening of the motorway near Drury where a large residential expansion is expected to be built, and the rail link to the airport.

"I see the most ridiculous decisions going on and it seems to have nothing to do with economic growth," she said..

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It’s believed the standalone structure will cost about $685 million. Source: Breakfast

"It's a nice to have."

She said a new replacement bridge that was strong and widened for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists would "only cost $2 billion".

"How many people are seriously going to be taking their kids to school, the netball team to sport ... across the bridge."

Collins raised issue with other Auckland transport issues including Mill Road, rail at Drury, south of Auckland, and the rail link to the airport.

Auckland Harbour Bridge (file picture). Source: istock.com

Transport Minister Michael Wood said, in a statement, that geotechnical investigations and testing had found that adding a structure to the existing bridge was not possible.

"We need this transport connection to move ahead but it isn't technically possible to attach it to the existing bridge without putting the whole structure at risk.

"A stand-alone structure is the safest option that will not only provide a walking and cycling option for commuters but creates an outstanding piece of tourism infrastructure."

The bridge was expected to cost about $685 million plus another $100m for the land section of the route. About 5000 people a day were expected to use it.

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Officials have just released details of the plan, including a five-year timeline to have it completed. Source: Breakfast

The Government was planning to follow it with another harbour crossing - a tunnel for vehicles.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said the bridge was a sustainable, enduring project that would last for generations.

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