New Zealand cancels multi-billion-dollar Auckland light rail project

Auckland (Jaroslav Subrt/Dreamstime)
The government of New Zealand has cancelled a light rail project for Auckland after the cost ballooned from US$9.8bn to as much as $19bn. The project was announced in 2018, and so far, $149m has been spent on it without any track being laid.

New Zealand’s coalition government has decided to focus on two other Auckland projects: the Northwest Rapid Transit corridor, and the completion of the City Rail Link – a 3.5km tunnel underneath the city centre.

The 24km light rail line was to have connected Auckland city centre to the southern suburb of Mangere via the airport. The design work was being carried out by a joint venture between US engineer Jacobs and the UK’s Arup.

Simeon Brown, Auckland’s transport minister, said: “The government’s decision to scrap Auckland Light Rail means that we can stop work on a project that has not delivered and get on with the critical transport infrastructure that Auckland needs.

“The previous government committed to building light rail to Mt Roskill within four years of being elected. not a single metre of track has been delivered and congestion has only worsened in the city.”

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