Single-lane bridge enough – Gardyne

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The proposed wider single-lane Pyramid bridge will be able to accommodate large agricultural machinery comfortably, John Gardyne says.

The Gore District councillor and Federated Farmers member said the existing bridge was 3.8m wide but the proposed structure was expected to be 4.5m wide.

A single-lane bridge will be built over the Mataura River to replace the existing Pyramid bridge. 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 a Southland district councillor suggesting the replacement be dual-carriage.

At a recent finance and policy committee meeting, Mr Hicks reiterated his desire to explore the dual-carriage option.

Mr Gardyne, who is the Gore District Council Waikaka ward representative, said he had been involved in negotiations with Federated Farmers and the NZ Transport Agency several years ago relating to the need for a dual-carriage bridge.

But it became apparent a dual-he said.

The proposed wider single bridge would allow large agricultural machinery to traverse it with ease, he said.

If a dual-carriage bridge was built, the Gore and Southland district councils might have to pay an extra $400,000 or $500,000, Mr Gardyne said.

The biggest farm machine, at 4m wide, would easily be able to use the proposed 4.5m bridge, he said.

“It doesn’t justify a dual lane – 4.5m is very, very wide,” Mr Gardyne said.

Mr Hicks said GPS systems were directing tourists across the bridge more frequently, which was a concern, and he was keen to discuss the option as the new bridge could be in service for 100 years.

NZTA and the Southland and Gore district councils will meet tomorrow to discuss the possibility of building a dual-carriage bridge.