Works on Portobello Rd this week. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Dunedin City Council says it is taking stock of the
South Dunedin cycle network and reviewing the way forward as
project costs and complications start to mount.
The review may result in changes and/or delays to what has
already been described as an ambitious plan.
The council wants to build the network of cycleways
criss-crossing South Dunedin over 18 months, for $4.5
But after completing one stage of the four-stage project, a
third ($1.6 million) of the budget has already been spent,
even with one of the routes bumped to a later stage, and with
the most complicated stages still to come.
Transportation group manager Gene Ollerenshaw said staff, who
had not done such a project before, had to estimate costs.
But after the first stage of the project was completed and
tenders received for the second, it had become clear the $4.5
million budget for the overall project might not be
sufficient to complete all the remaining routes, as per the
high-level network plan adopted by the council.
Staff were now ''re-forecasting'' the project budget to find
out what it would actually cost.
As the council got into the detail of building the cycleways,
it was finding things were ''a bit more difficult'' than the
original lines on the cycle network map suggested, Mr
''For example, [putting a cycleway in] Macandrew Rd is much
more complex and challenging than what we understood when it
was first drawn as a line on the map. You go back to the
strategic cycle network [previous name] and they were pretty
big fat lines on a high-level, low-detail map.''
Some things had sounded simple, for example quiet streets,
but staff were finding they required many build-outs and it
was ''quite complicated'' to keep them safe.
It was prudent, rather than imperative, to do a review at
this stage, he said.
''We haven't got a cost blowout or anything like that. We
just don't want to get ourselves into that position.''
The situation was not unexpected; it had just evolved, as it
tended to with such big, complicated projects, he said.
''As contract prices come in, you have to take stock of where
you are. So, now we are looking forward, to see whether we
still can do all the things we set out to do two years ago.''
Although tenders were in for the project's second stage, the
contract would not be awarded until the review was complete.
The review would look at options for the remaining stages of
the project, which at present included cycleways on some of
South Dunedin's busiest streets, including Victoria Rd where
residents recently got upset about a cycleway proposed for
Asked if those stages could be delayed or changed, Mr
Ollerenshaw said ''potentially''.
''We're just working through those at the moment. We haven't
got any more details yet.''
Staff would complete the review over the next few weeks and
present the options to councillors next month.
If substantially more money was needed to complete the
project, the council would have to make a new application to
the next national land transport programme round.
If it was a minor amount, it might be found within existing
A staff member working on the project last month called it
ambitious for the time and budget given it.
Infrastructure committee chairwoman Cr Kate Wilson said
Dunedin was one of the first cities to build such a network
and there was no textbook on how to do it.
Estimating costs was always fraught, and it had been flagged
to councillors there might be a problem with the budget once
the tenders came in.
The council now had to think more strategically about how it
finished the project. It may not be able to deliver
''absolutely everything'' in the time frame, but it had to be
usable and up to standard.
''The worst thing would be having something that no-one wants
She did not think there was much will at the council to spend
any more money on the project, so it was likely compromises
would have to be made to see it achieved.
''We'll have to make savings elsewhere, or do it in a
She said it was something the council wanted to finish.
''There will always be people not wanting to see change, but
I think it's time this city realises that if it wants to
grow, there has to be some change to attract people looking
for a certain lifestyle.''
South Dunedin cycle network
Project budget: $4.5m (funded two-thirds by NZTA,
one-third by ratepayers).
Spent: $1.6m on cycleways in Portsmouth Dr, Portobello
Rd, Royal Cres, Victoria/Tahuna Rds, Shore St.
Left to spend: $2.9m.
Left to do:
Stage 2 (pre-tender estimate $1.1m): Cycleways in
Auld, Marlow, Tedder, Fingall, Broughton and Waverley Sts,
Coughtrey, Richardson, Bellona, New and Rugby Sts; Neville,
King Edward and Princes Sts (along the Oval), Wilkie Rd.
Stage 3: (no cost estimate): Cycleways in Law St,
Bathgate Park, Kirkcaldy and Moreau Sts; Musselburgh Rise,
Silverton St, Tainui Rd, Cavell St. (Routes agreed).
Stage 4: (no cost estimate): Cycleways in Forbury,
Macandrew, Hillside Rds, the remainder of Victoria Rd, South
Rd, Wharf St, Gordon St and Vogel St. (Routes still to be
Timeframe: All cycleways to be built by July 2015.