New Zealand construction company Fulton Hogan has signed a NZ$100m ($68m) contract with Transport Minister Phil Twyford, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Auckland Transport (AT) officials for part of the Eastern Busway project between Panmure and Pakuranga, which will transform east Auckland.
Goff said: “For too long we have under-invested in public transport for east Auckland. As the area has grown, the roads have become more congested without suitable alternative transport options.
“The $1.4 billion being invested in the Eastern Busway from Panmure to Botany helps rectify this. It will be transformational for the area.”
Commuters will be able to travel from Botany to Britomart in less than 40 minutes using the busway and the new Panmure rail station, cutting travel time by more than a third.
The Eastern Busway is the second largest transport infrastructure project after the City Rail Link.
It will consist of several pieces of infrastructure, including completing the busway between Panmure and Botany, stations at Pakuranga and Botany, the Reeves Road flyover at Pakuranga Town Centre and better space for walking or cycling.
Goff said: “The first section from Panmure to Pakuranga represents $275 million in spending with around $700 million of the total project cost funded from the Regional Fuel Tax which has enabled construction to be brought forward.”
The Eastern Busway is expected to generate $680m of additional GDP over a 40-year period.
Construction will commence in April and will be completed in approximately two years.
Under the project, parts of Lagoon Drive and Pakuranga Road will be widened to create a dedicated busway similar to the Northern Busway.
Panmure Roundabout will be converted into a signalised intersection and new paths for walking and cycling, improved public spaces and reserves, a second bridge across Tamaki River will be constructed and several intersections will be improved.
Fulton Hogan CEO Graeme Johnson said: “We’re proud to have been awarded the contract. We are a New Zealand owned business, employing more than a thousand staff in the Auckland region.
“This is a major route upgrade for Auckland and our team bring the experience required to deliver this project successfully in a challenging and busy network environment, with a key focus on the health and safety of both the public and our team.”
Image: AT CEO Shane Ellison (left) and Fulton Hogan managing director Cos Bruyn signing the contract for the Eastern Busway project. Photo: Courtesy of Auckland Transport.