Confirmation of funding for the crucial next stage of the
controversial project to build separated cycle lanes on
central Dunedin's one-way system is expected next month.
But the project will still have a significant hurdle to clear
after that before lanes can be built.
The next stage is the preparation of detailed business cases
outlining preliminary designs and costs for the three options
on the table.
The potentially major hurdle could be gaining approval from
the New Zealand Transport Agency and the Dunedin City Council
for a preferred business case, but if one does pass muster,
construction could begin at the end of next year.
NZTA projects team manager Simon Underwood said he expected
to hear next month if $175,000 from NZTA's current work
programme would be approved for the business cases to be
developed, following endorsement for the spending from the
Otago regional transport committee.
If the money was approved, he would advertise for a company
to prepare business cases that would include preliminary
designs of traffic signals, the form of the traffic-cycle
lane separation, footpath improvements, road layout changes,
parking changes and landscaping, as well as how much those
things were likely to cost and an assessment of what level of
improvement they would provide.
The lanes' full cost, expected to be up to $4.5 million,
would be paid for by the NZTA, although the council would be
responsible for parking and footpath changes and maintenance
The business cases would be based on concepts developed
following major public consultation last year and though the
process would not likely involve another major public
consultation, businesses and property owners along the
affected roads would be further consulted during their
More than 2000 responses were received to last year's public
consultation, most in favour of two one-way lanes on the
State Highway 1 pair of north-south roads, The Otago
Automobile Association also supported the project, preferring
the single two-way lane option.
Once the business cases were completed, expected to be about
Christmas, one would have to be chosen and be approved by the
NZTA, which would have to find it effective and worth the
investment, and decide what priority it was for investment.
Importantly, the city council would also have to approve it.
If approval was gained, the project would then proceed to the
detailed design stage, which could potentially be done next
year, and construction.
As it was an involved process, the NZTA required detailed
information to make that commitment, and putting cycle lanes
on an urban arterial state highway route was a new concept
for New Zealand, Mr Underwood said.