Councils, NZTA to co-fund new bridge

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Residents who use the Pyramid bridge will at last be getting a new bridge but it will not happen overnight.
Discussions have taken place and business cases have been produced for several years relating to the replacement of the single-lane bridge, but nature has now played a hand in the replacement.
A large section of the bridge broke away late on Friday morning, taking with it the Otama water supply scheme pipe.
There are 253 connections to the scheme for stock and household water. Restoring water to the area is a priority for the Gore District Council.
The broken section of bridge is now 75m downstream and the council is hoping to retrieve it.
Gore District Council transport manager Peter Standring said the bridge replacement would be co-funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency, which would pay about 55% of the cost, while the Southland District and Gore District councils would split the balance.
Mr Standring said a design would have to be finalised, a contractor appointed and consents obtained for the structure.
“That all takes time.”
The replacement was a higher priority now the former bridge was gone.
“This has changed things a bit.”
Mr Standring said most residents would be using the Otamita bridge, which was about 9km downstream from the Pyramid bridge.
A water tanker will be stationed at the Otama hall for people wanting drinking water.
Waikaka ward counsellor John Gardyne confirmed a new bridge was planned.
“The biggest problem [with the washout] is the Otama water scheme,” Cr Gardyne said.
It was hoped to have a temporary pipe across the river put in place later this week.
However, it could take seven to 10 days for the water to filter through to all residents’ properties, he said.
Environment Southland had allowed farmers to let stock drink from creeks in the meantime.