The NZ Transport Agency is welcoming a ministerial decision to refer its application for designation and resource consents for the East West Link project to a Board of Inquiry.
NZTA lodged its application with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) in December 2016.
The EPA reviewed the application and recommended that it be treated as a matter of national significance that should be referred to the Board of Inquiry.
NZTA Auckland highway manager, Brett Gliddon says the Board of Inquiry will give the public and stakeholders an opportunity to provide feedback on what is proposed, while also providing the industry with more certainty on the timeframes for the delivery of the project.
The project will build a new four lane road between the Neilson Street Interchange at State Highway 20 and the Mt Wellington Interchange on State Highway 1, and widen State Highway 1 between Mt Wellington and Princes Street.
It will also create new and improved connections to local roads in Onehunga and Penrose, relieving the current congestion experienced across the day on Neilson Street. It will also create a seamless walking and cycling path from Onehunga to Sylvia Park.
NZTA says it hopes construction can start in 2018.
“We’re confident the Board of Inquiry process will ensure the Transport Agency’s application is thoroughly tested, that the process is transparent and the community and stakeholders are given full opportunity to make submissions and have their views heard,” says Gliddon.
NZTA has been working with Auckland Transport and the community since 2013 to develop the design and plans for the East West Link.
There will be opportunities for ongoing design work and engagement with the community during the next stages of the project.
Details on how people can make submissions and get involved in the Board of Inquiry process are available on the EPA website.
NZTA will be holding information days to give people more information on the project and the technical reports lodged.
It is holding these on Monday 27 February, 5.30pm, at the Otahuhu Library, 28-30 Mason Avenue, Otahuhu, and Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 March at the Onehunga Community Centre, 83 Church Street, Onehunga.
The Transport Agency has published details of its application and supporting documents on its website and encourages people to look at them and ensure they’re fully informed.
The papers and more information about the project are found atnzta.govt.nz/ewl-epa.