August 2 2019

Newsletter 2,  August 2019

  • Have your say on the SkyPath landing options
  • The tunnel – welcome improvements negotiated

1. SkyPath

The NZ Transport Agency is seeking residents’ feedback on its proposed design options for the SkyPath landings at Westhaven and Northcote point.

The agency’s design for the shared walking and cycling path across the Harbour Bridge was published earlier this year. Unlike the original SkyPath Trust design, the NZTA design provides for a 5m-wide path (an increase of 1m) and attachment to the bridge piers, rather than being clipped on, and consequently there will not be any load restriction. The structure will be built on the city-facing side of the bridge.

Landing option 1: 5m-wide ramps located under the bridge at both ends. This is NZTA’s preferred option.

Landing option 2: Combination of lift and stairs located next to and underneath the bridge.

These options were on display as part of a drop-in session hosted by NZTA at Ponsonby Primary School on August 22 (see last newsletter).

Main concerns over the entry/exit points raised to date include: parking plans, noise, security, hours of operation, toilet facilities.

The government has allocated $67 million for SkyPath, but NZTA estimates the total cost to be between $100 million and $140 million.

For more details, to view the plans and provide online comments, see:

https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/projects/auckland-harbour-bridge-shared-path/docs/AHB-shared-path-connections-brochure.pdf

Public feedback is open until September 4.

2. The tunnel

On 17 August we reported briefly on the community’s endorsement of a pragmatic solution to the dispute over Healthy Waters’ intention to build the tunnel under the St Mary’s cliff-line just to manage stormwater.

We are making good progress towards an agreement along the lines of the proposal discussed at the community meeting on 14 August (which in turn followed the recommendations of our independent reviewer).

The essential terms of our proposal were accepted by Healthy Waters and Watercare at a meeting on 23 August, leaving just a couple of points to be worked out as part of the detailed design or in consent conditions. Importantly the community (through our involvement in a stakeholder group and continuing input of our independent reviewer) will have an on-going say in both the separation programme and the construction of the tunnel. The amended project will be a compromise, but we feel that community concerns and interests are now being recognised.

We expect to finalise the terms of the agreement, and to withdraw our appeal over the coming month.

Best wishes,

David Abbott
Chair
St Mary’s Bay Association Inc