AMETI Eastern Busway has reached another important milestone this week with the start of pre-construction work on the Panmure to Pakuranga stage of this major transport project.
Image: Artist impression of Lagoon Drive Busway.The work will involve the demolition of 14 Auckland Council owned properties to enable archaeological investigations to commence this month. This work is essential to allow construction of the busway to start on schedule.
The archaeological work is particularly important on this project due to the unique history and culturally significant nature of the area, including the site of the historic Mokoia Pā. This site is located near the eastern end of Lagoon Drive and of major significance to Mana Whenua. It was the site of the Ngāti Paoa pā settlement throughout the 18th century and an important area of trade and commerce.
Programme Director Duncan Humphrey says this is a significant milestone in the life of this transformational project.
“Not only does this work symbolise further progress and bring us a step closer towards faster public transport and cycling journey times, improved reliability and travel choice for East Aucklanders but it acknowledges an important partnership between Auckland Transport and Mana Whenua (and specifically Ngati Paoa in relation to Mokoia Pa) towards ensuring that the history and Taonga of this area are restored and maintained.”
Archaeologists, working with Mana Whenua and heritage organisations, have been involved in the AMETI works since the project started. Although the landscape around the AMETI Eastern Busway route has been modified many times over the past century or more, archaeologists working on previous stages of the project found evidence of early Māori occupation which has added to knowledge of Māori settlement in Tāmaki. It is likely that further historical findings will be made over the next few months.
Hauauru Rawiri, CEO to Kaihautu says, “We are pleased to work with Auckland Transport towards addressing the transport needs of East Auckland while also enhancing and regenerating this historic and culturally significant area.”
The demolition of initial properties will take place on parts of Lagoon Drive, Bridge Street and Pakuranga Road from mid-February and the archaeological work will begin around Bridge Street shortly after. Auckland Transport has indicated that there may be opportunities for school and community visits at some stage of the project.
AMETI Eastern Busway is a high priority, essential project in south-east Auckland that will significantly improve transport choices, reliability and public transport and cycling journey times in the area and to other parts of the region. Once operational, you’ll be able to travel by bus and train between Botany and Britomart in less than 40 minutes. The project is separated into various stages, including Panmure to Pakuranga, Pakuranga to Botany, Pakuranga Town Centre and Reeves Road Flyover and a new station at Botany Town Centre.
AMETI Eastern busway will be completed by 2026 and will run between Panmure and Botany Town Centre. The completed project will be supported by new cycling and walking connections, urban design enhancements, three new stations, two new bridges across Tamaki Estuary and Pakuranga Creek and improvements for general traffic such as the Reeves Road flyover and upgraded signalised intersections. The first stage of the project was completed in 2014 and includes the new Panmure Station and Te Horeta Road extension.