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Auckland Transport

2500 truckloads removed for tunnel

The 2500th truckload of rock has been removed for a new road tunnel being built next to the rail line in Panmure for the AMETI project.

It’s the halfway point of excavations on the Auckland Manukau Eastern Transport Initiative (AMETI), with 44,000m3 or 5000 truckloads in total to be removed. AMETI is one of Auckland’s largest transport construction projects, featuring a new north-south road linking Mt Wellington Highway and Morrin Rd, a 220m tunnel for the road, a major upgrade of Panmure Station and three new bridges.

The 44,000m3 of basalt rock, from Mt Wellington lava flows, is being crushed and re-used to build the new road and two new bridges. The majority of earth has been removed for the road tunnel and its walls are being built.

The new road is expected to carry 20,000 vehicles a day and reduce journey times between Mt Wellington and Glen Innes by up to 10 minutes in peak traffic.

Auckland Transport Major Projects Manager Rick Walden says anyone travelling through the area can see there is a significant amount of construction activity underway.

“We’re making good progress on AMETI and what people can see is a sign that major transport improvements that are on their way.

“There are a number of changes necessary to allow construction, so we’d like to thank the community for their patience as work continues.”

Other construction progress includes:

  • A new higher and longer Mountain Rd bridge, being built by Downer, will open to vehicles on 30 July
  • A section of the new pedestrian plaza at Panmure Station, part of a major station upgrade, is now open, making it easier for passengers to get between platforms
  • A number of piles drilled for a new busway bridge alongside Ellerslie-Panmure Highway. Traffic will be moved onto it at the end of the year while the existing highway bridge is demolished and replaced.

The project, mostly built by Fletcher Construction, is due for completion in 2012 and features:

  • A major upgrade of Panmure Station to create an interchange that allows easy transfers between trains, a future busway and local buses. This includes a new bridge next to Ellerslie Panmure Highway for buses and busway stops.
  • A 1.5km new road linking Morrin Rd to Mt Wellington Highway to cut up to 10 minutes off journeys between Glen Innes and Mt Wellington.
  • A 220m tunnel for the new road built next to the rail line at the station. A concrete box will be built with a road for the station on top
  • Replacement of the existing Ellerslie Panmure Highway bridge, higher and longer to allow for rail electrification, the new road and a possible future third rail line
  • A new higher, longer Mountain Rd bridge with wide footpaths and more space for cyclists (built by Downer)
  • Improvements to Van Damm’s Lagoon and its reserve area
  • Wider, longer footbridge with ramps over the rail line between William Harvey Place and Ireland Rd
  • Cycle lanes on Ellerslie Panmure Highway (Mt Wellington Highway to Queens Rd) and new AMETI road.