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Auckland Transport

Your questions answered

If you have any additional questions, please contact us.


General

Why is this project required? Why don’t you just upgrade the existing Mill Road?

  • Large housing growth (22,000 new homes planned) will add pressure on the existing transport infrastructure, doubling traffic volumes during the next 10 to 15 years
  • The existing road is unsafe, with four deaths and 283 crashes over four years
  • There are significant crash hotspots along the route, particularly at curves and junctions
  • Changing the alignment is essential to improve safety along this route.

Is the upgrade still needed with State Highway One improvements being accelerated?

  • Yes, the upgrade is focused on dealing with traffic from new housing and jobs in the Redoubt Road-Mill Rd area
  • Planning for the upgrade assumed the SH1 improvements were in place and modelling shows the Redoubt-Mill Road upgrade is still required when the SH1 upgrade is complete.

What is the impact on Mr Cheesman’s bush at 146 Mill Road?

  • We have looked seriously at how to avoid this area. Alternatives would cost an extra $45 million and require at least three more houses to be removed
  • A 30m long, 17 m high viaduct is proposed to cross above the narrowest strip of bush and stream. Its design does not require any supporting central piers, minimising the impact on the bush
  • About 1.5 % (1500 m2) of the 11.5 hectare bush will be directly lost, as a result of the bridge abutments but a replanting plan of similar size will mitigate the impact of the lost bush
  • The bridge will span across 500m2 of bush canopy and may lead to some additional loss of canopy trees. With the bridge’s high point at 17m elevation, smaller canopy trees are likely to be unaffected
  • Much of the underlying vegetation (understorey) has grown in the shade of the canopy trees and is likely to be retained
  • An independent ecological assessment shows the proposed measures being taken mean the impact on the bush will be minor.

Why are you building four lanes?

  • Congestion is already affecting parts of Redoubt Road and Mill Road and traffic will almost double in 10 to 15 years
  • This means traffic will be too much for two lanes to cope with.

How did you reach the decision on the preferred option?

  • Consultation with the community has been an important part of this process and a number of alternative routes were investigated to identify the most practical option
  • A large number of specialist technical investigation reports were prepared and a detailed analysis of the benefits and negative impacts of each option evaluated carefully, which identified a preferred alignment

Will the cycle lanes be safe?

  • At this stage, which is focused on protecting the route, space has been allowed for separation between cyclists and vehicles - this could be a physical barrier
  • Further work will be carried out to determine, based on best practice, what separation will be provided
  • This will be developed in consultation with cyclists and assessed by safety auditors
  • We have also included a 3m wide off road shared path for the length of the project from Hollyford Drive east.

Why aren’t there bus lanes for the full length of the project?

  • The road has been designed to allow bus lanes in the future if it is identified as a bus route
  • It is possible some of the proposed lanes of traffic may be converted to T2 or T3 lanes in the future.

How are you dealing with congestion at the SH 1 intersection with Redoubt Road?

  • We’re working with the New Zealand Transport Agency on options in this area e.g. phasing of lights
  • The southern corridor motorway project will also have benefits for traffic in this area.
  • Further, upgrades to Redoubt Road will be completed after the Waterview connection has been commissioned which will link the south-western motorway with the north-western motorway. 

Why doesn’t the upgrade continue to Papakura?

  • The Redoubt-Mill Road upgrade is the first section of a longer term project
  • The timing of further upgrades to Papakura and Drury will be driven by when and where land for housing will be released
  • The New Zealand Transport Agency, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are working together on an integrated transport plan for the wider area south of Manukau to provide infrastructure to support planned growth.

Is this the final route?

  • It is the preferred route that Auckland Transport has applied to Auckland Council to designate
  • A route will only become final if the designation is confirmed following a public hearing.

Funding

How much will the Redoubt Road-Mill Road section of the route cost?

  • This section is estimated to cost about $300 million (current dollar value).

How much will the entire project, including the extension to Papakura and Drury cost?

  • It won’t be possible to get a clear cost estimate until growth plans for the area are finalised
  • However, at this stage, we have allowed a further $172 million (current dollar value) for further upgrades to Papakura and Drury
  • The entire project (the northern section and the extension to Papakura and Drury) is estimated to cost $472 million ($820 million when adjusted for inflation over 30 years).

Is there funding for the project?

  • Yes, funding is included in the council’s draft Long Term Plan, with $110 million available in the first decade
  • The project will be jointly funded by Auckland Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency on behalf of the New Zealand Government.

Environmental and ecological impacts

What measures are being taken to preserve existing native bush, local flora and fauna?

  • Auckland Transport is aware of the significance of the bush and environmental issues in this area 
  • Three different independent ecological assessments have been carried out during the project’s development. Their proposed environmental measures include:
    • Avoiding certain high value ecological areas by altering road alignment where possible
    • Building bridges over two gullies containing mature native bush (Puhinui Creek Gully and South Mill Road Gully) containing mature native forest
    • At least 22,000 square metres of native planting to replace areas impacted by the project and increase
    • Further monitoring to understand potential effects on lizard and bat populations.

Is the ecological assessment independent?

  • All specialists engaged by Auckland Transport are experts in their field of specialisation and as such Auckland Transport has full confidence in the robustness of their approach and the conclusions that were reached
  • The methodology utilised in undertaking the most recent ecological assessment has been reviewed by an academic employed by the University of Otago
  • Auckland Transport encourages you to make submissions to the Notice of Requirement if you have concerns about the project or the assessments carried out.

Will there be a dewatering effect that impacts trees in Totara Park?

  • There is no evidence to suggest groundwater would be affected which would result in a significant adverse impact on Totara Park
  • If evidence at the Notice of Requirement hearing or detailed design investigations does show this, a resource consent will be required to show how it can be avoided or mitigated.

Is land from Totara Park required?

  • The proposed alignment affects the edge of Totara Park in some areas, currently used for grazing
  • This is to allow for a safer alignment

Will there be any effects on Murphys Bush?

  • The proposed designation does not extend into the bush itself however some trees close to the road may need to be removed
  • However a small number of trees shrubs may be affected.

Property and compensation

How many properties will be affected?

  • 59 full properties and 253 partials, for example frontages and parts of driveways.

When will you buy properties? Are owners under pressure to sell?

  • Auckland Transport does not intend to purchase properties until after the designation is confirmed
  • It may be up to six years until properties need to be purchased, assuming the designation is approved so owners are not under great time pressure
  • Early purchases are being considered in a small number of cases because we recognise some people have circumstances that mean they are unable to wait until after the designation is approved

How is compensation to affected landowners calculated?

  • Purchase prices are required by law to be at market value (not the current Council Valuation)
  • To agree a price, a report is obtained from a registered valuer, the property owner is also advised to get an independent valuation and advice
  • These form the basis of negotiations, which the property owner can withdraw from at any time
  • AT will pay reasonable fees for reports relevant to the negotiations.