There should be no question that Penlink won’t feature in the Government’s upcoming transport infrastructure package.
Penlink is Auckland’s highest ranked project. The Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) for a 2-lane project is 12:1 and for a 4-lane is 7:1 – well above the high reward ranking of 5:1 i.e. a $5 return for every dollar invested.
The 7km Penlink road is consented to run between the Northern motorway at Redvale and the heart of the Whangapararoa Peninsula, reducing by around 40,000 of the 120,000v/day that clog access to the nearby Silverdale business area on the route to the motorway.
The most recent business case suggested that construction of the $300 million project could start in 2021 and finish around 2024-25 – two years ahead of the Auckland-Government “aligned” project start date unveiled earlier this year.
As a BOOT (Build, Own, Operate and Transfer) option, the debt could be transferred to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and a private sector credit agency. This will get around Auckland Council’s tight monetary situation and allow the project to be financed immediately.
A toll of about $2.50 is proposed, and it could be a 4-lane tolled road – including bridge over the Weiti River, rapid transit lane (busway), cycleway and possibly park-and-ride.
“The evidence makes Penlink obvious. It’s action that is needed. This is what North Shore’s business and residential communities want – they are having to put up with traffic queues stretching up to 10km most mornings,” said Auckland Business Chamber head, Michael Barnett.
After sitting on Auckland plans consented, ‘ready to go’ but unfunded for decades, the Auckland Chamber was approached in 2016 by the local board to run a campaign. Thousands of responses were made to the Chamber’s Penlink website and numerous enquiries made by potential investors.