Joyce to set fire to $100 million to celebrate overloaded trucks - NZ Herald, cronies delight
They are about to cause traffic anarchy when they close down the Newmarket Viaduct. Why? So that the NZTA can replace a perfectly satisfactory viaduct (built in the mid 1960s and not due to fall down anytime soon) with a new one that can take "overloaded" trucks. Why? Because the trucking industry that funds the National Party want these bigger trucks on the road to make them more money and give them an advantage over rail. It is a form of subsidisation from other road users too because of the increased degradation of the roadway caused by the trucks and all the new road works needed to support them.
The approx. $100 million left in this project to be spent on demolishing and then rebuilding the viaduct is totally unnecessary. That is $100m that could be spent starting the CBD underground rail loop. They could quit now - with one of the new spans completed - and have more lanes than they will at the end of this pointless scheme.
Even spending it on completing the SH20/SH16 motorways would be better value because that forms a bypass to the city and Newmarket so the overloaded trucks will not need to travel across that section of SH1 anyway. It is a tremendous waste. It is a result of several failings: an ineffective NZTA board of cronies, the hijacking of the Auckland transport budget by Wellington's public sector and the uncritical local politicians and media. The NZ Herald does not investigate or critique or analyse these hundreds of millions of dollars of public works - they would rather be ferreting through a few hundred dollars worth of mayoral credit card expenses, and so they just copy the press releases and echo all the hollow rhetoric from the empty minds.
So Auckland's leaders too - and Auckland media - are also to blame for pissing away opportunities and signing off on high budget, but low value, spending. They are about to make a $100 million mistake and everyone thinks it's great. They will be left with a viaduct that looks exactly the same as the old one, in almost the exact same place - but now it will have one extra lane. All $200m+ for one extra lane. It is something only a moron would think is acceptable.