Auckland mayoral candidate wants to open abandoned tunnels

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An Auckland mayoral candidate wants to turn abandoned air-raid shelters into a tourist attraction.

Auckland mayoral candidate Viv Beck (file image).
Photo: Delivered / HOTC

The words “abandoned underground tunnel” are not often associated with “iconic landmark and tourist attraction”.

However, Auckland’s mayoral candidate Viv Beck has promised to change that.

She wants to turn abandoned World War II air raid shelters into something unique to Auckland, starting with a 600-meter walking and cycling link between the central city and Parnell.

The project would turn abandoned World War II air raid shelters into a 600m walking and cycling link between the central city and Parnell.

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Beck told Morning report about 4000 people a day would benefit from the project, which aims to bring together mobility, heritage and tourism.

“It’s a pretty new way to get real transportation benefits, bring some of our heritage to life and think about a new tourist attraction at a time when we’re reopening the world, so it’s really an effort to bring all three together.” together,” Beck said.

She said the area the link would run through would become increasingly important as the City Rail Link projects were completed and the new convention center opened.

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One of the key benefits of the project is the installation of escalators up to the University of Auckland, Beck said.

“We are still anticipating that there will be growth over time, the city center could be undergoing lasting change and we are still anticipating growth and that east-west connection has some challenges in terms of access points to the city center.”

“Bringing people in from that east-west connection to the university has been one of the draws of this [project]’ said Beck.

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Beck said the renovation would cost $25-35 million – part of which could come from Auckland Council’s funding for climate change and cycling.

Private sector funding was expected to be involved in the project, while Beck said there was scope for “attractions” to include in the project.

Beck said these attractions could include glowworm caves and wine and cheese cellars.

“This is about creating an attraction that would benefit the region… it’s one that doesn’t have to be started from scratch and that has real transportation benefits.”

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