A $100 million contract has been signed for part of the AMETI Eastern Busway between Panmure and Pakuranga.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff today joined Auckland Transport officials to sign the contract with New Zealand-owned construction company Fulton Hogan.
Mayor Goff says, "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."
Fewer people in cars means less traffic congestion
Using the busway and the new Panmure rail station, commuters will be able to travel from Botany to Britomart in less than 40 minutes, a travel time reduction of more than one-third. More people on public transport means fewer people in cars and less congestion.
The Eastern Busway is the second-biggest transport infrastructure project after the City Rail Link. Mayor Goff says, "The first section from Panmure to Pakuranga represents $275 million in spending with around $700 million of the total project cost funded from the Regional Fuel Tax, which has enabled construction to be brought forward."
The Eastern Busway consists of several major pieces of infrastructure, including completing 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.
Improving the range of employment and leisure options
A reduction in journey times and better accessibility to other parts of Auckland will improve the range of employment and leisure options for people in Auckland's south-east. These factors were included as part of a report showing that AMETI Eastern Busway will generate around $680 million of additional GDP over a 40-year period.
Construction begins in April and will take approximately two years. Parts of Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road will be widened to create a dedicated, congestion-free busway, similar to the successful Northern Busway. Panmure Roundabout will be turned into a safer signalised intersection, there will be new paths for walking and cycling, improved public spaces and reserves, a second bridge across Tāmaki River and several intersections will be improved.
The contract with Fulton Hogan also signals a strong commitment to "social procurement," with specific clauses around environmental standards, minimum wage payments and recruitment practices targeting youth, Māori and Pacific people.