An artist's impression of the proposed two-lane bridge on
State Highway 6 between Kelvin Heights and Frankton. Photo
The New Zealand Transport Agency's (NZTA) application to
change the designation for a new $20 million two-lane bridge on
State Highway 6, between Kelvin Heights and Frankton, will be
heard over three days next month.
In September, Lakes Environmental, as the regulatory arm of
the Queenstown Lakes District Council, advertised the notice
of requirement to alter the designation at the Kawarau Falls
The new designation would allow a bridge to be built
alongside the existing bridge, which is controlled by traffic
lights, and causes lengthy delays for motorists
during the holiday period.
NZTA Southern regional director Jim Harland said the notice
of requirement process recognised the NZTA as a requiring
authority providing a safe and efficient state highway
Nine submissions on the notice of requirement were received,
all in support or neutral, with some submitters seeking
additional conditions on the designation.
Independent commissioners Denis Nugent and Jane Taylor would
hear the application in Queenstown from February 11.
Mr Harland said evidence from NZTA, its planning and
engineering consultants Sinclair Knight Merz,
Lakes Environmental and others would be presented.
The future of the single lane ''bridge/dam structure'' was
not covered by the notice of requirement, as it was owned by
the Ministry of Building, Employment and Innovation, and
leased to the NZTA.
''When the existing bridge is no longer required for the
state highway traffic, it will still be available for
pedestrians and cyclists.''
Before construction, an outline plan of works would be
submitted to Lakes Environmental, including details of the
The design and construction was included in the NZTA's
10-year state highway plan and had been signalled as a
project of regional significance in the 2012-15 Otago
regional transport programme.
However, construction investment approval for the new bridge
first had to go through the Otago Regional Land Transport
Committee and then through the NZTA's national prioritisation
of investment for state highway projects. Mr Harland said
work on the two-lane bridge was anticipated to start ''some
time after 2016''. It would take about two years to build.