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Old March 24th, 2008, 11:01 AM   #101
NZer
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I can't believe the shortcuts Transit New Zealand is planning on taking in the Waikato.

They will be responsible for injuries and deaths.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 11:08 AM   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIWIKAAS View Post
Plans for a arterial road/ expressway through Hagley Park from the 60's, 70's and 1980

imagine if they built this but after the motorway veers away from Harper ave it went into a tunnel under hagley park and Victoria street reamerging near colombo with distributers onto barbadoes and further east to fitzgerald... we can only dream.

KaneD... i was always under the impression that where the planned motorway veered off from the current Harper ave alignment the remainder of Harper ave was to be closed and returned as park land??????
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Old March 24th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #103
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What kind of changes would that be? It was built as 3 lanes each way and always has been.
Wasn't it at some point 5 lanes? I remember in the early eighties, being somewhere along the wellington motorway and having overhead lane signals with the middle lane operating on a tidal flow.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #104
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensible View Post
imagine if they built this but after the motorway veers away from Harper ave it went into a tunnel under hagley park and Victoria street reamerging near colombo with distributers onto barbadoes and further east to fitzgerald... we can only dream.

KaneD... i was always under the impression that where the planned motorway veered off from the current Harper ave alignment the remainder of Harper ave was to be closed and returned as park land??????
Yes, you're right on the mark here too - the rest of Harper Ave would be closed and presumedly returned to parkland.

With that in mind, the net result wouldn't have been to bad since it isn't like the council was simply carving up park and turning it to road - It was a bit of both going on.

But still, I think many in Chch had motorway phobia in those days.

Your idea of a under park tunnel would sound awesome - If built today it would resemble a combination of the Sydney Cross City Tunnel and the Eastern Distributor perhaps. Ohhh what a dream that would be to have

The Northern Motorway section from Bealey Ave to Waltham Rd was meant to be an elevated 6 lane structure with a number of ramps along the way, including some to join up to the Fendalton-Avonside Mwy. I would imagine that the new flyover they are building in Tauranga would be a similar concept, but only 4 lanes.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #105
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I guess if there's a point reached where ChCh starts to intensify you might end up with more roading projects within the city, and the numbers of people to actually allow fund the road. I guess a toll road might be possible if you were to cut&cover the tunnel.

It seems like Chch is obsessed with sprawling at the moment though (ie Pegasus) so most roading improvements will probably need to happen on the edge of the city.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 12:38 PM   #106
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Wasn't it at some point 5 lanes? I remember in the early eighties, being somewhere along the wellington motorway and having overhead lane signals with the middle lane operating on a tidal flow.
I don't think that the thorndon overbridge could even have tidal flow, it's physically two separate 3 lane bridges side by side. The only thing I can think of is that before the Ngauranga flyovers connecting the gorge to the motorway, when the motorway was only used for traffic to and from the Hutt valley, and the Hutt road between Ngauranga and Thorndon was still Sh1. I think the Hutt road might have had tidal flow back then but I'm not sure.

Overall Wellington has had almost no new motorway construction since the Ngauranga flyovers (1984). All we have had is several interchanges and some four laning + median barriers on existing 2 lane sections of sh1 and sh2 (but no interchanges on those sections, with the exception of mackays crossing).
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Old March 24th, 2008, 12:46 PM   #107
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Quote:
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I think the Hutt road might have had tidal flow back then but I'm not sure.
It was tidal flow.

The Upper Hutt by-pass was opened in 1987 or 88 I believe. It's a typical example of a severely downgraded project as was typical at the time.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 10:00 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIWIKAAS View Post
It was tidal flow.

The Upper Hutt by-pass was opened in 1987 or 88 I believe. It's a typical example of a severely downgraded project as was typical at the time.
OK, so it was Hutt Road that had the 5 lane arrangement and not the motorway?

If you look at the northern end of the Thorndon viaduct as you are heading into welly, you can see that some minor alignment works have been done as the start of the viaduct, there is quite a gap between the road edge and the edge of the bridge.

And yes, I forgot the Ngauranga, Newlands interchanges too.

Still, this make Chch's development look especially bad in the last 25 years.
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Old March 24th, 2008, 11:01 PM   #109
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Quote:
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OK, so it was Hutt Road that had the 5 lane arrangement and not the motorway?

.
Yes. The Hutt Rd was 5 lanes with tidal flow between Aotea Quay and Ngauranga prior to the completion of the Ngauranga interchange in 1984
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Old March 25th, 2008, 06:30 AM   #110
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Originally Posted by jarbury View Post
I guess if there's a point reached where ChCh starts to intensify you might end up with more roading projects within the city, and the numbers of people to actually allow fund the road. I guess a toll road might be possible if you were to cut&cover the tunnel.

It seems like Chch is obsessed with sprawling at the moment though (ie Pegasus) so most roading improvements will probably need to happen on the edge of the city.
I'm not sure that I'd agree with you here.

Here is an example of access from the north into the city starting at Woodend (about as far out as most commuters would live).

Woodend township - 2 lane 50kph road
Woodend to Pineacres - 2 lane 100kph road
Pineacres to North Kaiapoi - 2 lane 100kph motorway
North Kaiapoi to North Belfast - 4 lane 100kph motorway
North Belfast to Northcote - 4 lane 60kph road
Northcote to Mairehau - 2 lane 60kph road
Mairehau to Bealey Ave - 2 lane 50kph road
Bealey Ave - 6 lane 50kph east/west distributor road

So as you can see it starts out well but then as you get closer to the centre of town the road capacity starts getting smaller not bigger (until you strike Bealey Ave anyhow). This is a recipe for severe congestion and this is exactly what you get. What is needed is an express route right into the middle of town. Transit owned the land for it but sold it all off in a fit of stupidity back in the 90s.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 09:36 AM   #111
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What is needed is an express route right into the middle of town. Transit owned the land for it but sold it all off in a fit of stupidity back in the 90s.
...to the city council (Gary Moore) who seem to have sold the lot off to developers. Terrible waste.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 12:04 PM   #112
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Some years ago (about 8 I think) I spoke to a fairly senior person at Transit's Chch office and went into quite some detail as to why they dumped the Northern Motorway section through St Albans....

Their reply was somewhat convoluted and complicated:

You see, Transit owned most of the land and had done so for quite some years. But, Transit wasn't able to build it because they didn't have the funds to do so. They didn't have the funds to build it because the funding authority, Transfund, wouldn't provide funds because the project didn't anywhere near meet the benefit cost ratio level required at the time. Transfund said it was unlikely to meet the criteria for funding for 15-20 years (remember we had slower population growth then).

In the meantime, the Chch City Council had been continually getting complaints from residents in the St Albans area who lived near the road corridor that their properties were being severely devalued with all the vacant sections, rundown housing and the big old MED (Municipal Electricity Dept) yards. The pressure was then on the council to address this issue.

They in turn put pressure on Transit. The council wanted commitment that it would be built within 10 years so that it could satisfy residents (and commuters!). However, that could not be guaranteed with the funding issues at the time, so Transit and CCC tried to negotiate on a split funding arrangement whereby the council contributed. Unfortunately, with the Benefit Cost Ratio so low, Transit could only provide minimal amounts of funding. The council wasn't in a position to commit the massive shortfall.

But wait... there is more... (Yep - just like those TV ads!)

At around the same time, the CCC was developing the Eastern Ring Route from Northcote to Woolston via Burwood and Aranui. Transit had agreed to provide funding to the CCC since that it wanted to take ownership of the route as a State Highway. When completed, SH74 would be relocated from Cranford Street (or a future St Albans Motorway) to the ring road. The motorway route would then become a local road only.

Now... Transit isn't in the job of building or funding local roads. In fact, if you look at the rather broad mission statement of transits, it's role it to provide a transport infrastructure at National and Inter-Regional levels, NOT localised infrastructure, which of course is exactly what a St Albans Motorway would primarily be - a road to relieve congestion for predominately local traffic.

So I think that really, it might be hard to blame Transit entirely for not building it, after all, why should they when they would already have an adequate road to meet their objectives of providing for inter-regional traffic.

So then, it becomes a council issue. Now the council can still apply for funding from Transfund, but Transfund won't supply full funding for local projects typically other than for exceptional cases, usually after flood damage repairs for example. I forget the funding portions they used to contribute but in general I think it was something like 25%. Either way, the council would still have to provide a massive amount of cash.

Now the other issue comes down to land... I am pretty sure that by law, if a government is in ownership of land that becomes surplus to government need, then it first must be offered to the original owners, then to Maori, before being able to be sold to another party. I'm not sure whether the CCC is considered as a government department (eg: Transit transferring ownership to the local council), or whether from the perspective of the law, it is considered a separate entity. If it was a separate entity, then the govt would have had to have sold the land back to the original owners, then the council try to negotiate re-purchase of it. That of course would potentially increase the price to the council significantly.

Can anyone shed any light on our property acquisition laws?

As you can see, it's all a bit of a mess really and I don't think that any one party is at fault. Obviously our quirky land transport funding schemes are a mess and certainly are a major problem.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 11:57 PM   #113
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I can provide a little more information on property acquisition.

Basically when a requiring authority like Transit, a city council, the Ministry of Education etc. designates land for a future development, they vest a huge interest in that piece of land. They don't necessarily need to take ownership of it, but generally they do - and obviously if they want to develop it for a motorway they would have to take ownership. Under the 1940 Public Works Act they have the right to forcibly take the land as long as they provide adequate compensation (although it's incredibly unusual for them to actually have to TAKE it, usually the threat is good enough to make property owners sell up). A designation comes with its own set of conditions, and effectively creates a "mini special purposes" zone in which the activity can operate.

However, there is a time limit on designations, which I think is about 10 years. After that point the requiring authority needs to renew its designation, which means that it needs to show that it's still worthwhile having such a designation and that it's made some progress (or will in the future) to actually use the designation for the original stated purpose. It's not necessarily that difficult to renew a designation - as for example the Avondale-Southdown railway link has been designated for like 50 years and I don't see it getting built any time soon - but obviously in this situation a case could no longer be made.

Once the requiring authority no longer requires the land and/or the designation has lapsed, they need to at least offer it back to the original owner first. In some cases decades may have passed, and it can be quite a challenge, but that is the law. There is some sort of process where the designation can be "transferred" to another government agency (like the SH20A extension through Mangere becoming Housing New Zealand land), but I'm not exactly sure what the process is.

But to get back on topic, if this urban motorway in ChCh is now so badly needed, I'm quite surprised the cost-benefit ratio didn't stack up. At least you guys have a decent bus system down there.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:06 AM   #114
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Thanks Jarbury and KaneD for the rundown on corridors.
Transfering the SH20A extension to HNZ was a shame. It would have been the perfect corridor for the airport rail link and a darn sight cheaper than the Manukau crossing option.
As for selling off the Northern Arterial/Motorway corridor in ChCh. Madness.

A question. Could the CCC (or any other city council) apply to LTNZ for funding for road widening of main arterial roads even if these don't constitute being part of the State Hwy network if it is shown that these routes are of the highest priority and suffering chronic congestion?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:47 AM   #115
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Absolutely. A large chunk of the money for most council road upgrades comes from central government in one form or another. As it should... after all why should my petrol taxes help pay for when I drive on the motorway but not help pay for the local roads I drive on?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 07:27 AM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KIWIKAAS View Post
A question. Could the CCC (or any other city council) apply to LTNZ for funding for road widening of main arterial roads even if these don't constitute being part of the State Hwy network if it is shown that these routes are of the highest priority and suffering chronic congestion?
Yes indeed, any local authority may apply for funding from LTNZ as part of the National Land Transport Program. Whether they will agree to fund a particular project is another story though.

Unfortunately our government seems to put a higher emphasis on funding projects that have a more national or inter-regional importance. This happens to also fit into line with what Transit's key role is.

See the government seems to work on the basis that "traffic congestion caused primarily by local residents going to local destinations" is a strictly local problem that should be fixed and funded locally. The exceptions to this are where local traffic routes tend to follow the same corridor as inter-regional routes, such as the motorways in Auckland and Wellington.

The trouble is, in Christchurch, there isn't a State Highway (Inter-regional road) that goes into the central city from the north anymore. So therefore, the central governments road funding scheme won't rate any project very highly, unless it meets the Benefit Cost Ratio's which of course seem to place a higher emphasis on projects that provide benefits to the whole country, rather than those that are only proposed so that they can save 5 minutes off 10,000 commuters trip to work each day. LTNZ, will typically provide a only a small percentage of funding to local projects which further reinforces it's belief that local congestion is a local problem.

Arguably, local councils could be also to blame for many traffic congestion woes since in theory, when they zone land on the outskirts of town for residential development, it is the council responsibility to make adequate provision for those that live in the new developments to get around. This includes both public and private transport.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:59 AM   #117
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S.H. 2 Napier to Wairoa: Matahorua Gorge bypass

I think this is new. There was vague plan a few years back to convert the rail viaduct for road use as part of a bypass (when it looked almost certain that the line would be closed).

$25 million bypass to replace gorge road
KATHY WEBB - The Dominion Post | Thursday, 03 April 2008

The highway running through a notoriously unstable gorge could be replaced by a $25 million bypass on the Napier-Wairoa Road within three years.

Transit has asked Hastings District Council to designate 281,000 square metres of farmland for three kilometres of new road and a 160-metre bridge to span Matahorua Gorge on State Highway 2, about halfway between Napier and Wairoa.

The road is the only link between Wairoa and Hawke's Bay Hospital in Hastings, and is carrying increasing numbers of stock, logging and freight trucks.

The narrow, winding gorge road is often blocked by slips, with rocks damaging vehicles.

Heavy vehicles have to slow to about 30kmh to navigate the winding gorge, while its narrowness and absence of passing lanes or shoulders make it difficult for large vehicles to pass each other.

Transit says the high cost of keeping the gorge open has made it a financially unviable piece of road. And the extent to which the wider region depended on it for economic, social, and health needs had given it priority on the regional transport project list.

The improved road would make travel easier and faster, reduce congestion, and help promote regional economic investment by providing a more reliable route.

Regional manager Rob Bramley said it was good to see real progress being made on the upgrade. "It's a major, it's a very important project. It will bring Wairoa and Gisborne much closer."

Negotiations were being done on a tender to manage and oversee the design and build contract, which would be advertised.

The design work should be completed during the next financial year, with construction starting in the middle of next year and completed within two years, he said.

The $25 million tagged for the project will come out of a 10-year regional petrol tax of five cents a litre, introduced several years ago.

The gorge will remain in use until the new road and bridge are finished.
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Old August 10th, 2008, 11:40 PM   #118
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More work starts on notorious highway
5:00AM Monday August 11, 2008
By Mathew Dearnaley


Engineers have begun design and investigation work on two more stretches of the notorious Maramarua highway through the northern Waikato, as a first-stage $46 million bypass nears completion further west.

The Government's newly established Transport Agency has awarded a $3.4 million design contract for a 6km bypass of the Maramarua village at the eastern end of the troubled highway, before the Thames turnoff, and for investigation of a realignment of a 4km stretch near Kopuku.

Although construction is unlikely to start before 2011, the two-pronged design contract has been let to Opus International Consultants as the Government agency prepares to complete in October a 7.2km bypass of Mangatawhiri village between Pokeno and Maramarua.

The two new sections are expected to cost anything between $116 million and $180 million, according to the most recent material on the agency's website, based on last year's national state highways forecast.

Agency regional manager Kaye Clark says design work has already begun on the Maramarua Deviation and an investigation for a preferred route for the adjoining Kopuku realignment has also started.

The Kopuku stretch will link the two main bypasses along SH2, and the route investigation work follows an agreement by the Auckland Regional Transport Committee to contribute $1.5 million of the region's allocation of Government funds.

Even though most of the road is in the Waikato, officials reckon 60 per cent of vehicles involved in crashes along it belong to Aucklanders.

The three projects will produce a relatively straight line for more than 15km, replacing a winding route which claimed almost 40 lives in road smashes over five years to 2005, but it will remain a mainly two-lane highway albeit with more passing lanes.

Ms Clark said that although the new section of road would offer better safety and passing opportunities, it would reflect the agency's national strategy of developing SH1 via Hamilton and SH29 over the Kaimai Range as the preferred traffic route between Auckland and Tauranga.
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Old August 21st, 2008, 12:25 AM   #119
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Cash approved for northern bottlenecks
5:00AM Thursday August 21, 2008
By Mathew Dearnaley


Government transport officials are considering four-lane motorway and expressway links north of Auckland to Warkworth and Wellsford as part of upgrades costing up to $1.8 billion.

The Auckland Regional Transport Committee yesterday approved - although not without opposition from some members - $8 million of road and intersection developments aimed at easing traffic bottlenecks on State Highway 1 through Warkworth.

That will be the first stage of a $17 million joint venture between the Government's new Transport Agency and Rodney District Council to upgrade all five main intersections between the highway and local roads.

The committee's approval clears the way for construction to start during summer.

The first stage will include widening the 400m section of SH1 between Woodcocks Rd and Whitaker Rd to four lanes, improving the intersections at both ends and adding a combined walking and cycleway for non-motorists travelling between Mahurangi College and Warkworth's town centre.

But in a separate meeting, the Auckland Regional Council expressed concern at an agency proposal to start investigating a potential new route for a 15km motorway extension between Puhoi and Warkworth.

In a study of long-term links between Auckland and Wellsford, the agency has confirmed that SH1 is its preferred route serving a national function.

It wants to leave SH16 to keep providing regional service.

It has ruled out elevating SH16 to national importance as an extension of Auckland's western ring route, or investigating building a new main artery inland, roughly following the northern railway line.

But a draft report which the agency is circulating among interested parties proposes building a four-lane motorway on a new alignment between Puhoi and Warkworth, and then an expressway of similar capacity over the 19km section to Wellsford.

The report also proposes pressing ahead with a realignment of the difficult Schedewys Hill section north of Puhoi, upgrading an extension of the Northwestern Motorway to a four-lane expressway to Brigham Creek Rd, and extending the Northern Busway to Silverdale.

The realignment may form the first section of a future motorway.

But the report says that although an extended busway would ease congestion between Orewa and Silverdale, public transport is unlikely to have much effect on overall growth in the study area because of its dispersed population.

It acknowledges that "external factors" such as the availability of oil could affect travel demand, and should therefore be monitored.

But it says development north of Auckland is already putting pressure on SH1 and its main alternative route, SH16.

That has left the regional council unimpressed, and it will urge the transport agency to reconsider securing land designations for a new motorway to Warkworth.

Instead, it wants to encourage the management of developments in support of Auckland's growth strategy, aimed at containing urban sprawl within designated parts of the region.

A council officers' report said the environmental costs of such a motorway through difficult terrain were likely to be no less challenging than the $365 million Orewa to Puhoi toll road, and "may well be unaffordable in the foreseeable future".

The agency's northern manager, Peter Spies, said his organisation was simply consulting the council and other interested parties on the desirability of "future-proofing" a preferred route for long-distance travel needs.

It was too soon to discuss route possibilities, except to say that any bypass of Warkworth would be to the west of the town.

Even the short-term Warkworth project was too much for some Auckland Regional Transport Committee members yesterday, including Cycle Action Auckland chairman Bevan Woodward, who questioned "throwing $8 million at a 400m length of road".

He unsuccessfully sought a review to consider what savings could be made through "travel demand management" such as reducing road freight and providing public transport.

But Rodney Mayor Penny Webster said rail was already carrying 80 per cent more long-distance freight through the region than trucks, and her council was promoting travel plans in schools and the community.
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Old August 25th, 2008, 03:19 AM   #120
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National flip-flopping on toll roads

It seem that National is keen on toll roads and PPPs.
Quote:
National's plan tips 4 or 5 big toll roads
TRACY WATKINS and NZPA - The Dominion Post | Monday, 25 August 2008

National is tipping four or five big toll roads under its plans to allow for privately funded roads – with Wellington's Transmission Gully high on the list.

The party's transport spokesman Maurice Williamson says motorists will be happy to pay $3 to $5 if it means shaving 40 minutes off their trip.
more
Then again maybe not ...
Quote:
No $50/week roading tolls - English
Updated at 11:06am on 25 August 2008

National says it would not impose costs of up to $50 a week on motorists to build new roads.

Deputy party leader Bill English has backed away from estimates previously made by the party's transport spokesperson.

Maurice Williamson said on Agenda on Sunday that a National Government would build new roading projects through Public Private Partnerships, which could impose tolls of between $3 - $5 per trip.

However, Mr English says those comments are "a bit exuberant."
more
Here's some of the projects that they may or may not be considering:
  • Transmission Gully;
  • The Waterview motorway on State Highway 20 in Auckland;
  • A second harbour crossing;
  • The south Waikato expressway and State Highway 1 north of Auckland.

I wish National would come up with a policy position and then stick with it consistently rather than getting a number of contradictory stories.
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