The Dunedin City Council will consider pressing ahead with
the next two sections of Otago Peninsula road widening and
sea-wall improvements simultaneously.
Councillors at yesterday's 2014-15 annual plan deliberations
voted to ask staff to investigate ways of accelerating work
on the project and report on options next year.
That could allow the next two sections, Broad Bay to
Portobello and Vauxhall to Glenfalloch, to be built at the
That was on the proviso any change remained within the
council's financial strategy and had little or no additional
impact on rates.
Cr Richard Thomson, who suggested the move, said it reflected
the fact submitters were ''evenly split'' on the merits of
the two sections, both of which were worthy candidates to be
The move would allow questions about the work to be
clarified, including any implications for New Zealand
Transport Agency funding, while ensuring any revised work
plan could be included in next year's long-term plan hearing.
''I think we should give ourselves the opportunity to try to
get a win-win here.''
Yesterday's move won the backing of councillors including
Neville Peat, an Otago Peninsula resident, who said he had
planned to go in ''all guns blazing'' to get priority for the
section from Broad Bay to Portobello.
Portobello Rd remained the city's premier tourism route,
connecting to ecotourism ventures worth $100 million a year
to the city's economy, he said.
However, the safety of road users on the narrow, winding road
remained the ''paramount concern'' highlighted by updated
crash statistics he presented to the meeting to underscore
He would be happy to see both sections proceed at the same
time, which would address concerns and could also help
Yesterday's vote came after the council suggested reviewing
the order of remaining widening and cycle/walkway work on the
harbour-side road around the Otago Peninsula, prompting 600
submissions and a fierce debate.
Cr Thomson's potential solution was first raised during
annual plan deliberations earlier this week. Staff were
expected to report on options in time for next year's
long-term plan hearing.