This monorail would be the longest in the world and would travel through large areas of previously untouched wilderness which are the habitat of several threatened species. The construction challenges are huge and there could be major risks of significant damage to the environment and the landscape.
These pictures show how the monorail track and the maintenance/cycle track will run on the flat and on a slope. Note that the trees in these pictures (with a shapely canopy branching out) do not look like the trees in Snowdon Forest (see photo below, showing how the trees tend to grow very upright, narrow and close together).
Here is Riverstone’s engineering report on the construction of the monorail.
And here is DOC’s analysis of the proposal, which includes their assessment of the construction process.
And here is the technical audit commissioned by DoC.
A number of significant concerns about the impact of construction on the environment are expressed in the technical audit and have been informally confirmed by local farmers and others who are very familiar with the bush in this area and the impact of constructing tracks through it. If you have expert knowledge and would be willing to analyse the proposal and DOC’s response with a view to providing accurate information about the likely impact of the construction of the monorail, please get in touch.
The main topics that have come up so far are:
- The wider effects (halo effect and edge effects) of clearing two tracks through the bush (especially because of the wind tunnel created and the likelihood of further damage to trees and wildlife)
- Whether the proposed bush clearance widths are sufficient for the construction equipment being used
- Whether the proposed bush clearance widths are sufficient for the safety of the monorail
- The high risk of trees falling on the monorail track
- What standard the construction track would need to be built to prior to becoming a cycle track
- The reality of bringing large materials and equipment through up to 15k of bush on a 3m wide track
- Damage to rivers and streams
- Damage to the landscape
- Health and safety requirements