Homes in East-West road link's path
Buying houses for a major infrastructure project that could help speed up freight transit times is a real possibility, mayor Len Brown says.
The Government and Auckland Transport want to build the East West transport link through South Auckland.
It's a new road that would make it faster to move goods between East Tamaki and Onehunga.
Mr Brown says it's too early to say when and if houses in Mangere and Otahuhu could be demolished to make way for the new road.
"We're clearly in the very early stages of considering that. Don't draw any lines on maps.
"When you're doing work in established urban environments and retrofitting transport in and around a city like Auckland, of course you're going to be in a situation where you're going to have to buy some houses."
Residents of the two suburbs have raised concerns about the project after options for the new road were posted on a popular transport blog.
Once a decision has been made, Mr Brown says care will be needed when dealing with any affected property owners.
"What I want is a measured and sensitive process around a series of options for that link.
"You engage with the community in a fair, appropriate and sensitive way as you can make it," he says.
Similar work is going on with projects like AMETI in Pakuranga and City Rail Link.
"We do significant planning before buying. You've got to get public buy-in.
"As the mayor of Auckland, I'm doing everything I can to get the right balance, particularly with affected communities," Mr Brown says.
The Mangere-Otahuhu Local Board is opposing the demolition of houses and has proposed alternative routes that would see existing roads upgraded, transport spokeswoman Carrol Elliot says.
Mana council candidate James Papali'i says the new road is a "crazy idea".
Mana says about 200 people attended a recent meeting opposing the project.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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