Parties to discuss option of two-lane bridge

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The possibility of building a dual-carriage Pyramid bridge is to be discussed by the NZ Transport Agency, Southland and Gore district councils next week.

The meeting will be held next week at the Gore council administration building.

Approval has been given to build a new single-lane Pyramid bridge over the Mataura River. It has a preliminary price tag of $1.75million.

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks aired his desire to investigate building a dual-carriage bridge in March after being approached by Southland district councillor Brian Dillon who suggested the replacement be dual carriage.

At last week’s finance and policy committee meeting, Mr Hicks reiterated his desire to explore the dual-carriage option.

He was keen to discuss the option as the new bridge could be in service for 100 years.

“I think we need to have that discussion.”

After the meeting, Mr Hicks said even though there had been a thorough planning process carried out, there was a need to make sure what was on the drawing board would be the “best bang for the buck”.

He said the two councils’ arguments would have to be very persuasive to change the NZTA’s views.

Southland District Council Mararoa-Waimea ward councillor Brian Dillon said earlier this week the bridge was on the boundary of the Gore and Southland councils’ patches.

Cr Dillon said it was the 21st century and there was a need to build a bridge that would last 100 years.

“Let’s do it once and do it right,” Mr Dillon said.
Trucks and heavy machinery were getting bigger, he said.

The present bridge’s sides had already been damaged by large agricultural equipment, he said.

“You’ve got to build your infrastructure correctly first time around,” he said.

“I’m not giving up on this one. This is something we’ve got to stick to our guns on.”

The NZTA had approved contributing 55% of the total cost of the building of the single-lane bridge, while the district councils would pick up 50% each of the remainder.

After the meeting, Gore District Council transport manager Peter Standring said a comprehensive business case had been compiled and NZTA had accepted the plan for a single-lane bridge on Riversdale-Pyramid Rd.

Mr Standring said pricing of the single-lane bridge had not yet been finalised.

To attract NZTA funding, the project had to fit into the organisation’s cost benefit ratio criteria.

There was a possibility the two councils would have to pay the financial shortfall needed to build a dual-carriage bridge, he said.