The New Zealand government has decided not to proceed with the standalone bridge component of the $550 million across the Auckland Harbour and reallocate the funding to other transport projects that reduce emissions and congestion, Transport Minister Michael Wood said on Saturday.
“The government is committed to providing better access to walking and cycling and reducing greenhouse emissions through our transport investments, but this particular project won’t be part of that mix. It didn’t get the public support needed for a project of its scale and we acknowledge that,” Xinhua news agency quoted Wood as saying.
The government had declared in June the plan for a brand-new cycling-and-walking-purposed bridge across the Waitemata harbor in Auckland.
According to the plan, residents in Auckland will be able to get across the harbour by foot or bike, with the bridge providing alternative modes of transport across the harbour and helping reduce congestion on Auckland roads.
However, the cross-sea bridge plan faces public criticism for its high cost and some people have doubted whether the bridge could be delivered on time.
“The cancellation of the standalone bridge means we can support a range of other projects consistent with our plan for a transport system that both reduces emissions and supports new housing,” the Minister said.
“Auckland will continue to see significant investment to support the economic recovery and get the city moving – which is why it’s our intention to use part of this funding to bring the Eastern Busway forward,” he said.