A $100 million contract has been signed for part of a project to transform east Auckland's busway network, Auckland Transport (AT) announced today.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff joined AT officials to sign the contract with New Zealand-owned construction company Fulton Hogan.
The AMETI Eastern Busway between Panmure and Pakuranga, along with the new Panmure rail station, will allow commuters to travel from Botany to Britomart in less than 40 minutes, cutting travel time by more than a third, AT said in a statement.
The busway will consist of several major pieces of infrastructure, including the completion of the busway between Panmure and Botany, stations at Pakuranga and Botany, the Reeves Road flyover at Pakuranga Town Centre and better space for people walking or cycling.
Parts of Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road will also be widened to create a dedicated, congestion-free busway, and the Panmure Roundabout will also be turned into a safer signalled intersection.
New paths for walking and cycling, improved public spaces and reserves and a second bridge across Tamaki River will also be constructed, while several intersections will be improved.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said, "For too long we have under-invested in public transport for east Auckland. As the area has grown, the roads have become more congested without suitable alternative transport options".
"The $1.4 billion being invested in the Eastern Busway from Panmure to Botany helps rectify this. It will be transformational for the area."
Transport Minister Phil Twyford added, "This project is a great example of central and local government working together through the 10-year Auckland Transport Alignment Project to unlock Auckland’s potential.
"This contract means we are another step closer to having a congestion-free network."
The AMETI Eastern Busway is expected to generate around $680 million in additional GDP over the next 40 years.
The busway will be the second largest transport infrastructure project after the City Rail Link, Mr Goff said, with around $700 million of the project's cost coming from the Regional Fuel Tax.
Construct of the busway will begin in April, and will take two years to be built.