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Blowing in the wind . . . East Gore resident Ernie MacManus believes the proposed footbridge over the Mataura River about 200m away from his house will be hit by the strong winds that buffet the area. PHOTO:SANDY EGGLESTON

Gore’s winds could cause a problem for the proposed footbridge over the Mataura River, one resident believes.

East Gore resident Ernie MacManus has lived on the bank above the river since 2003.

He lives about 200m from the planned site of the footbridge.

Mr MacManus said he was concerned about the south-west and equinoctial winds which blew past his house.

“The equinoctials seem to come down and create an updraft from the river which means the bridge will not only be swaying sideways, it [will be] getting updraft underneath and lifting it as well, which is going to create problems,” he said.

He had seen how items on the river side of his house had been lifted up over it in a strong wind.

“What will happen to those water pipes with that swaying is what I am worried about.”

It would take a “brave man” to walk on the bridge when there was a gale blowing, he said.

He believed a scale model of the bridge should be made and subjected to tests in a wind tunnel.

He was not against the idea of a cable bridge but believed it should be sited further upstream another 200m.

The place where he believed the bridge should be built was at one end of Walnut Gr, finishing at Denton St on the west side of the river.

A stabilising pole could be embedded in the rock in the river bed.

“With it stabilised it would stop that wind sway.”

One pole would not result in a build-up of debris which happened at the road bridge further downstream.

Another bonus of the bridge being sited further upstream would be the pipeline to carry the water would not need to be as long.

While the bridge would be an “eyesore” anywhere, it would blend in better upstream.

The proposed bridge was “standing out in the middle of nowhere”.

Gore District Council chief executive Steve Parry said the council would be entering the resource consent phase of the project soon.

“[This] will include reports and documentation to support the structural integrity of the bridge, its location, et cetera,” Mr Parry said.

“If Mr MacManus still has concerns after reading that information, then his best course of action would be to take part in the consenting process.”