Six consultants chosen for Auckland’s $10.6bn rapid transit system

The Waitematā Harbour Bridge (GPS 56/CC BY-SA 2.0)
Auckland Light Rail and national transport agency Waka Kotahi have named two preferred bidders for the design and planning work on Auckland Light Rail and the Waitematā Harbour Connections.

The projects are both being procured using public–private partnerships and are intended to provide New Zealand’s largest city with a rapid transit system that better connects road, rail, bus, walking and cycling links.

For the US$8.3bn light rail scheme, Australian engineer Aurecon and UK consultant Arup will act as delivery partners.

Canadian engineer WSP, Auckland consultant engineer Beca, France’s Systra and Australian designer Cox Architecture have been selected for the $2.3bn harbour programme.

Auckland Light Rail and Waka Kotahi said in a joint press release: “Advancing a modern and world-class rapid transit system and transforming the way Aucklanders get around their city, including crossing the Waitematā Harbour, has attracted two outstanding teams with significant national and international experience.”

Brett Gliddon, Waka Kotahi’s general manager for transport services, said the Harbour Connections team would deliver its recommendations by the middle of next year. He added: “These will encompass all modes, including light rail, buses, connections for walking and cycling, vehicles and freight, along with determining the future use of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

“These long-term solutions will require significant investment and involve complex large-scale construction, anticipated to take more than 15 years of design and construction work.”

Meanwhile, the light rail team will establish a final route for the 24km light rail system and the locations of up to 18 stations. It will also develop the project’s business case and plan the construction process.

Commenting on Auckland’s transport needs Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said: “Auckland’s population is projected to rise to 2 million by early next decade. In order to move 2 million people around our largest city safely and efficiently, we need well-planned and connected infrastructure.

“We have deliberately chosen this option for Auckland Light Rail that will integrate with other major infrastructure projects across Auckland, like the additional Waitemata Harbour crossing, the Auckland Rapid Transit Plan and Kainga Ora Large Scale Projects.”

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