A $28 million walking and cycling track on Auckland Harbour Bridge may progress after a proposal for funding was received.
Press Release – AHB Pathway Trust
The SkyPath planned for Auckland’s Harbour Bridge is set to progress with an initial funding proposal received from the Public Infrastructure Partnership (PIP) Fund.
Project Director Bevan Woodward says “We’re very pleased to advise that the Public Infrastructure Partnership (PIP) Fund have made an initial proposal to fund the $28 million required to build SkyPath on the Harbour Bridge.”
“The PIP Fund is managed by Morrison & Co, and its largest investor is the NZ Super Fund. They bring considerable funding expertise, having recently signed an agreement with the Government to design, build, finance and maintain two new schools in Hobsonville for the next 25 years.“
The PIP Fund’s proposal for the SkyPath project shares the financial risks and returns as follows:
1) A potential Council top-up is required only for the first four years if revenue is below 75% of the business case projections
2) Council receives a share of all revenue exceeding the business case projections
3) Ownership and control of the $28 million SkyPath is given to Council after the tolling period.
The PIP Fund’s proposal is subject to a due diligence review of the SkyPath’s estimated construction and operating costs.
Their funding proposal has been forwarded to key stakeholders Auckland Transport, Waterfront Auckland, ATEED and NZTA seeking their feedback and requesting that they become involved in this opportunity. The goal of the AHB Pathway Trust is to start construction of SkyPath next year.
Since May 2011, NZTA and the AHB Pathway Trust have committed significant resources to identify and finalise the optimal design for a walking and cycling pathway on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
NZTA has advised that funding for the Pathway is not available through its National Land Transport Programme funding. Hence in order to implement this key infrastructure, the AHB Pathway Trust proposes that the Pathway’s construction and operation is overseen by a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with Auckland Council and private funders.
The Pathway’s construction and operations will be funded by revenue from a toll on users and the sale of naming rights to the Pathway. The toll price ranges from $1.95 to $6.00, depending on the duration of visit by SkyPath users. The return trip within 16 hours is an extra $1.95.
A potential funder and a naming rights sponsor for the Pathway have been identified.
The Pathway can be built at minimal or no cost to Auckland Council. The revenue projections show Council receiving healthy dividends from the Pathway’s net surpluses in return for underwriting some of the project risk. The majority of the project risk will be carried by equity funders.
The proposed PPP will enable the Pathway to be implemented in the near future and deliver on the significant economic, social, and environmental benefits for the Auckland region at minimal or no cost to Auckland Council.
We now invite Auckland Council to investigate the potential benefits and implications of a Public Private Partnership arrangement with the Trust and private funders to deliver the AHB Pathway.
More information is at www.getacross.org.nz