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Transport Minister Simon Bridges says Auckland’s Northern Corridor transport project has taken a significant step forward today.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has accepted the NZ Transport Agency’s application for the construction of the Northern Corridor Improvements project.

“This is one of the Government’s top priority transport projects for Auckland and will make a noticeable difference to the city’s transport network,” Mr Bridges says.

The project will build a continuous motorway route from the North Shore connecting with the Western Ring Route, providing an additional route to State Highway 1, as well as extending the Northern Busway.

Once completed, the dedicated busway will operate through to Albany Bus Station, improving journey time reliability and time savings for bus passengers on the Northern Express route.

It will also improve local road links, and create more than 5kms of new walking and cycling paths.

“These improvements will work cohesively to further improve transport options on the North Shore, opening up access to the Western Ring Route and the airport,” Mr Bridges says.

“This will work to ease congestion and provide better connections between the North Shore and the growing populations in neighbouring areas in the north and north west of the city.”

The EPA will now make recommendations to the Minister of the Environment relating to the national significance of the project and the appropriate consenting process for the NZ Transport Agency to follow.

It could be considered by a Board of Inquiry, the Environment Court or be referred to Auckland Council.

Public consultation will take place early next year with construction planned to start in 2018.

For more information visit: http://www.epa.govt.nz/Resource-management/nci/Pages/default.aspx.

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