Auckland light rail village centre impression

NEW ZEALAND: Contracts are being awarded for further planning and development of the proposed Auckland light rail project.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Council have selected an alliance of Aurecon and Arup as preferred bidder for the next phase of planning and design.

This will include producing proposals for the final route and locations of up to 18 stops, along with development of the final corridor business base, building on the indicative business case developed by the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit. The companies will also consider how the line should be built and prepare the consents needed.

Separately, Auckland Light Rail has appointed Atkins NZ (SNC-Lavalin) to work with Aurecon and Arup to develop the processes for operating and maintaining the line, and has awarded law firms Buddle Findlay and Simpson Grierson contracts to progress the legal work.

The NZ$14·6bn project envisages a 24 km light rail line running south from the city centre. It would run in tunnel from Wynyard Quarter to Mt Roskill and then surface to continue alongside the SH20 motorway to the airport. Longer term plans could see expansion to the North Shore and northwest.

‘Light rail will be frequent, quicker, safer and more reliable, halving travel times between the central city and most destinations on its routes’, said Tommy Parker, Auckland Light Rail Project Director on September 28.

‘Light rail will open up access to many new quality homes in growing suburbs by driving housing and business development along the route and becoming a catalyst for neighbourhood regeneration and people-friendly streets.’