The Auckland Chamber’s campaign push for the Penlink Project to be completed within five years has achieved its first target – it is on Auckland and Government’s agenda for fast-track action.
The updated Government-Auckland Council aligned transport project (ATAP) programme unveiled today has re-ranked Penlink for completion within 10-years.
This brings it forward from its previous status of a construction start “not before 2028.”
It is a victory, but not the end of the campaign. Penlink is unique among Auckland’s transport projects awaiting a construction start – it is ready to go, with the land purchased, and fully consented but it is intended to be partly funded by a toll and built as a private-public partnership (PPP). If agencies decided, it could be geared up and constructed ready to open for business within five years!
The ATAP decision has changed the project scope from 4-lane to a 7km 2-lane road future-proofed for widening, with the cost reducing from around $290 million to now be estimated $240 million.
We have had a promising response to our campaign to identify private sector investors, and will be working these through in coming weeks. The option for NZTA to take over the project from Auckland Council remains a possibility.
And an option to get the design and construction underway quickly is to set up a special-purpose company or project linking NZTA, Auckland Council and private sector partners to accelerate the next steps.
Now that Penlink has been promoted to the fast lane that is where we want to keep it, and ensure that the project moves forward even faster.