Partners announced for Auckland Light Rail and Harbor Connections
PROJECTS to transform public transport in New Zealand’s largest city have taken a leap forward with the announcement of preferred bidders to plan and design the next phases of Auckland’s expanding network.
While Auckland Light Rail (ALR) and Waitematā Harbor Connections are separate projects, together they underpin a planned expansion of the public transport system by better linking road, rail, bus, pedestrian and cycle connections.
Expressions of interest for both projects were invited in May after the New Zealand government confirmed the chosen route for the LRA in January.
Waka Kotahi, New Zealand’s national land transport agency, and its partners Auckland Transport and Auckland Council have now named Aurecon and Arup as preferred bidders for the next phase of ALR.
“The ALR will be 24km long, half of it underground, connecting people to work and study in the city’s employment centers and Auckland Airport,” said the director of the ALR project, Mr. Tommy Parker. “Light rail will be frequent, faster, safer and more reliable, halving travel times between the city center and most destinations on its route.”
Two separate contracts have also been awarded by ALR: Atkins NZ (SNC-Lavalin) will work with Aurecon and Arup to develop the operation and maintenance strategy for the light rail line, and the law firms Buddle Findlay and Simpson Grierson will advance the legal work. for ALR.
“The ALR alliance will work on a final light rail route and offer locations for up to 18 stations,” Parker said. “It will also develop the final business case for the light rail corridor, building on the indicative business case developed by the Auckland Light Rail Establishment Unit, as well as looking at how the system will be built and preparing the necessary consents for construction.”
LR services will run every five minutes and will be able to accommodate up to 15,000 passengers per hour. The route will include a tunnel from the Wynyard neighborhood to Mount Roskill, then continue above ground to the airport paralleling the S20 highway.
Meanwhile, an alliance of WSP, Beca, Systra and Cox Architecture has been named as the preferred bidder for the next phase of the Waitematā Harbor Connections project.
“Waitematā Harbor Connections will explore connections for all modes, to shape the future of the city, region and beyond in partnership with mana whenua (local leaders),” said the general manager of transport services at Waka Kotahi, Mr. Brett Gliddon. “By the middle of next year, the Waitematā Harbor Connections team expect to produce a recommendation for a package of transport improvements as part of an indicative business case.
“This will encompass all modes including light rail, buses, connections for walking and cycling, vehicles and freight, as well as determining the future use of the Auckland Harbor Bridge. These long-term solutions will require significant investment and involve complex large-scale construction, which is expected to take more than 15 years of design and construction work.
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