Saturday, May 03, 2008

Te Aho a Maui

One of the most popular posts on this blog is the one about the Cook Strait Bridge. In light of today's opening of the world's longest sea bridge, it is a topic worth revisiting (Hat Tip to ET for phoning that one home).

The new bridge, linking Shanghai and Ningbo, was a public private partnership totalling 11.8bn yuan (about 2.2 billion kiwi). That's just over half the alleged cost for the attempt to clean up Auckland's clusterfucked arteries. And what's with the tunnels, Auckland? This country has a hell of a lot more experience with bridges than tunnels (Berryman bridge excempted).

It may seem politically palatable at first to suggest tunnels as the answer to everything. Out of sight (eventually), out of mind. But tunnels also mean out of pocket. Drilling a tunnel under Auckland's CBD and harbour is one hell of an expensive undertaking to build as well as maintain. Britomart Station will look like a doddle. Besides, travelling in tunnels under water is too chthonic for the average kiwi. You can't put clip-ons on a tunnel, neither.

Nup, it's got to be a bridge from the Heartland to the Mainland. I even had a name for it way back; Maui's fishing line. That was before I discovered that the bridge from Civic Square to Frank Kitts Park is already called that. Ah well, just as well I had a back-up; the Number 8 Highway. John Key has unveiled his Number 8 highway, unrolling fibre to the home. A Cook Strait Bridge becomes incrementally less improbable.