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Source: Auckland Council

The $100million contract signing for part of the AMETI Eastern Busway between Panmure and Pakuranga turned into a trip down memory lane for former Auckland City Councillor Sherryl McKelvie.

Now resident in Australia, the former Tamaki ward councillor is back on holiday and decided to check out her old home, only to stumble into the middle of the formal signing proceedings.

One of the two properties she and her husband built in Bridge Street in Panmure has already gone to make way for the work, but her former home has been retained and is being used as a site office.

“I never expected to be taking part in formal celebrations, let alone to get to return to my old kitchen,” she said.

“I’d like to think it was bit tidier when we lived here, but it was very kind of Fulton Hogan to invite me in.”

The site the McKelvie’s built on was home to a settler’s cottage that was moved off-site and still stands today off Redoubt Road in Manukau.

“Even when we lived here traffic was quite a problem so though in some ways it is sad to see what was your home going, it will bring major benefits to the area.”

Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Phil Goff joined Auckland Transport officials to sign the contract with Fulton Hogan.

Mayor Goff said AMETI would be transformational.

“For too long we have under-invested in public transport for east Auckland. As the area has grown, the roads have become more congested. The $1.4 billion being invested helps rectify that.”

Using the busway and the new Panmure rail station, commuters will be able to travel from Botany to Britomart in 40 minutes.

The Eastern Busway is the second biggest transport infrastructure project after the City Rail Link, with around $700 million of the cost funded from the Regional Fuel Tax.

The busway consists of several major pieces of infrastructure, including the busway between Panmure and Botany, stations at Pakuranga and Botany, and the Reeves Road flyover.

Construction begins in April and will take about two years.

Howick Ward councillors Sharon Stewart and Paul Young were at the ceremony with local board members, Adele White, John Spiller and Katrina Bungard.