Frequent, fast and direct connections to Auckland Airport and its employment precinct are a step closer with construction now underway for the $60M Puhinui Station Interchange.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff joined Mana Whenua and project partners to mark the start of construction of the Puhinui Station Interchange – which will open in early 2021.
Image: Artist impression of Puhinui Station platform.
Mayor Phil Goff says the new Puhinui Station will be an impressive and world-class building, creating a congestion-free link and guaranteed travel times for Auckland's growing number of visitors - as well as the increasing number of workers and commuters employed at the airport commercial precinct.
"It's another step towards easing congestion and creating a 21st Century transport system with rapid transit from the airport, eventually linking it with Manukau, East Tamaki and Botany, joining up with the Eastern Busway to Pakuranga and Panmure."
"While a large share of the cost will be met by our partners in NZTA and funded centrally, Auckland's share of the cost will be met from the Regional Fuel Tax, which makes the project possible."
"The project will be completed within 18 months and ease the pressure on our transport system that events like hosting APEC will provide."
The Puhinui Station Interchange is an early improvement of the Airport to Botany Rapid Transit project, and Auckland Transport Chief Executive Shane Ellison says it's great to reach another significant milestone for the project.
"It's fantastic to get construction underway for this transformational station upgrade. Having opened the Panmure, Ōtahuhu and Manukau Stations over the past few years, Auckland Transport is continuing to create new, modern and world-class public transport facilities for Auckland."
"The upgraded station is the first step of a wider rapid transit network that will eventually connect with the Eastern Busway in Botany, traveling along Te Irirangi Drive, via Manukau, to the airport, unlocking new social, employment and educational opportunities in South and East Auckland."
The upgraded station will work together with the new priority lanes, walking and cycling facilities and safety and environmental improvements the NZ Transport Agency and project partners Auckland Airport have planned along State Highway 20B, with construction due to start before the end of the year.
Steve Mutton, NZ Transport Agency's Director of Regional Relationships – Upper North Island, says "Once the bus interchange and State Highway upgrade are complete in 2021, together with the improvements planned within the airport precinct, people will be able to enjoy more reliable and timely travel choices to, from and around the airport area."
Auckland Airport chief executive, Adrian Littlewood, says the airport is not only the gateway for more than 21 million passengers but has over 900 businesses operating on or around its precinct.
"These businesses rely on the fast, efficient freight connections, either by air or road, plus need to offer staff safe and reliable options for travelling to and from work. With the rapid pace of business and traveller growth predicted to happen in the next two decades it's important to create a transport network that supports this growth."
During the upgrade the existing train station will be temporarily closed from September 28 to early 2021.
However, a new, free, Puhinui – Papatoetoe 349 loop bus service will run everyday, with services every 10 minutes during peak times, providing station users with southern and eastern train line connections from Papatoetoe Station.
Once completed in 2021, travel times from the Puhinui Station Interchange to Auckland Airport will be 10 to 12 minutes, 23 to 25 minutes to Manukau, 29 to 31 minutes from Papakura and 47 to 49 minutes to Britomart Station.
The NZ Transport Agency is contributing co-investment funding for the project, with the remainder coming from Auckland Council and the Regional Fuel Tax.
The Southwest Gateway programme involves the NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Transport and Auckland Airport working together to deliver transport projects that will improve access to the airport and its surrounding area to benefit workers, travellers, tourists and freight movements.
Find out more about the other projects within the Southwest Gateway programme: