Mill Road decision looms

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 05:00 24/07/2013
Colin Scott
IN LIMBO: Colin Scott wants to know whether the Mill Rd traffic corridor will cut through his property.

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Homeowners in "limbo" over the controversial Mill Rd corridor could soon find out if they're in the firing line.

The contract to investigate the second stage of the highway goes to tender in August.

The arterial traffic route is an alternative to State Highway 1 and will link Manukau and Flat Bush to Drury and the southern motorway through Papakura.

Planners will pick up where the Papakura District Council left off its investigations in 2010 but the routes are far from finalised, Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan says.

The district council held meetings in 2009 with residents who were worried their houses could be bowled.

But it's "too early to tell" if those same residents will still be in the path of development, Mr Hannan says.

The most likely route will head down Cosgrave Rd before doglegging around Cosgrove School and cutting through farmland to link with Dominion Rd, which is expected to be widened from two lanes to four.

That puts Dominion Rd residents like Colin Scott in the firing line.

Trucks already constantly roar down his street and turning it into a highway will just make it worse, he says.

It could even take out his property depending on where the road is widened.

"In the morning, the traffic is just zoom, zoom, zoom for an hour and a half. That's all you hear."

He knew the road was on the cards but has heard nothing about it since initial meetings were held in 2009.

And he reckons it doesn't make sense to create what will essentially be a second motorway on his street now the Government has announced it is to widen State Highway 1.

Mr Scott isn't alone. Real estate agents are reporting uncertainty among homeowners about whether they should sell up or stay put.

After Dominion Rd the route will cut through Hunua Rd along several possible routes through Drury to get to the southern motorway, meaning residents around Waihoehoe and Fitzgerald roads could also see their properties affected.

Councillor Calum Penrose, who was mayor of Papakura during the district council's investigations, agrees that residents need some certainty.

"You've got landowners who don't know whether they can sell or buy or renovate. They're sitting in limbo and it's unfair."

But one thing is for certain, he says.

"There's no way to four-lane it without taking out a huge amount of residential properties."

The need for an alternative north-south route to ease pressure on the southern motorway and Great South Rd and accommodate population growth in Takanini and Flat Bush was identified a decade ago.

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The effects of the proposed Drury South Industrial Park will also be taken into account but it's not a "strategic driver", Mr Hannan says.

The investigation is expected to take two years and there will be "full consultation" with residents, he says.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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