Manukau Courier : November 21st 2014
Friday, November 21, 2014 Splitting headache By JAMES IRELAND IT WAS meant to be a sanctuary from city life but Graham Cheesman’s 11.5 acre property on Mill Rd could soon have a four-lane highway running right through the middle of it. Fifty-four houses will be demolished and 257 properties will have part of their land taken to make way for the 8.9km Redoubt Rd-Mill Rd upgrade. Auckland Transport has released its plans for the upgrade, saying the project is being driven by significant housing growth planned for the area. Cheesman’s not so much worried about the impact the new road will have on his daily life – even though it will be less than 100 metres from his kitchen window. His main issue is with its environmental impact. Cheesman has been improving the bush on his land for 19 years, replanting it with native trees. It’s part of a planned uninterrupted chain of bush that would allow birds and insects to travel from the Hunua Ranges to the Waitakeres, a project the Forest & Bird Society calls Auckland Naturally. And Cheesman’s not convinced the upgrade will work. ‘‘I think we can solve the traffic issues by improving the existing road. We don’t need a four-lane highway all the way out here, this is a rural area. ‘‘And once State Highway 1 is widened between Manurewa and Papakura it’ll take pressure off Mill Rd.’’ The new road will be sus- pended on pillars – up to 23 metres high – over the land on either side of his property. The hill on Cheesman’s land will be cut nine metres lower than its current peak. He will be left with around five acres on each side of the road. That section of the $300 million upgrade is being Bush sacrifice:GrahamCheesman’s land,much of it regenerated native bush, will be cut in two by a new, four-lane road. built on the northern side of Mill Rd, replacing the existing road which will be turned into a cul de sac and used as an accessway for property owners. Auckland Transport did look at building the new road south of Mill Rd to avoid the native bush but says the extra $45m price tag for that was too steep. The plan: ❚ Redoubt Rd widened to two lanes in each direction between State Highway 1 andMurphys Rd ❚ Existing Mill Rd between Murphys Rd and Popes Rd replaced with a new arterial road with two lanes in each direction Photos: JAMES IRELAND Auckland Transport plans a four-lane highway ❚ Murphys Rd widened to two lanes in each direction between Flat Bush School Rd and Redoubt Rd ❚ Murphys Rd-Redoubt Rd intersectionrealigned and traffic lights added Come join us for one of the happiest nights of the year! Saturday 13 December th Auckland Domain 7:30pm www.christmasinthepark.co.nz Proudly supporting ❚ 17m and23m high viaducts at Puhinui Creek gully and South Mill Rd gully above native bush ❚ Westbound bus lane along HollyfordDr and Redoubt Rd towards Manukau ❚ On-road cycle lanes on both sides ❚ Auckland Council expected to publicly notify notices of requirementearly next with a hearing beforeindependent commissioners to follow. Dreams dashed:Umarji Mohammed’s house will have to be demolished when Redoubt Rd is widened. ‘Devastated’ Umarji Mohammed bought his quarter-acre section on Redoubt Rd five years ago and built the house he thought he would retirein. Halfway through the build the 66-year-old lawyer got a letter saying his house would be bulldozed to make way for the planned Redoubt RdMill Rd upgrade. ‘‘I was devastated,’’ Mohammed says. ‘‘We can’t get a spot like this again, with a view of the whole area anda large section that’s close to everything. ‘‘We designed this house so it would have everythingwe wanted. ‘‘I’m 66 and now I’m going to have to start again.’’ AucklandTransport project director Theunis van Schalkwyk says another 22,000 houses are expected to be built in the area over the next 10 to 15 years, causingtraffic to double. ‘‘We need to give certainty to both existing and futureproperty owners on what landis needed for the upgrade,’’ van Schalkwyk says. ‘‘New housingareas can then be built knowing where the transport infrastructure to supportit will be.’’ The new road will also be much safer, he says. Between 2009 and 2013 therewere 283 crashes along the route, including four deaths. The project is partof a larger plan to improve the link between Manukau and Druryandprovide an alternative arterial route to State Highway 1. © 2014 THE COCA-COLA COMPANY. ‘COCA-COLA’ IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF THE COCA-COLA COMPANY. “CHRISTMAS IN THE PARK” IS A REGISTERED TRADEMARK OF COCA-COLAAMATIL (N.Z) LIMITED.
November 20th 2014