Posted by: kentduston | July 1, 2008

The Real Purpose of the Basin Reserve Flyover

One of the centrepieces of the Ngauranga to Airport Strategy is a massive concrete flyover across the nothern frontage of the Basin Reserve. The highly photogenic (and likely to be highly unrealistic) artists impression can be seen in the Draft Corridor Plan:

Looks pretty .... won\'t be!

There are a couple of things to note about the flyover. Firstly, it’s one of the few pieces of new construction in the Strategy that has a positive cost/benefit payback for its estimated $35 million price-tag – although the cost/benefit fails to take account of the destruction of amenity values at the Basin Reserve, such as the delight in being sprayed with diesel particulates from trucks on the flyover when you’re watching a cricket match.

However there may be some method in the madness.

If you take a look at this Google Maps mashup – which shows the impact of 12 metres of sea-level rise due to the breakup of the West Antarctic ice sheet – and zoom into the Basin Reserve, you’ll see that a flyover across the northern end of the Basin will be one of the few ways to cross the gully at the bottom of Mt Victoria. Practically everything else along the Kent/Cambridge gully will be flooded.

So perhaps we shouldn’t rush to judgement – a concrete monstrosity may have its uses. Albeit not one that the pro-car pro-global warming lobby had in mind.

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