The New Zealand Transport Agency has said there is no
requirement for it to consider alternatives to its own plans
for the proposed $18 million Kawarau Falls Bridge.
It was suggested by more than one party this week at a Lakes
Environmental resource consent hearing that the bridge,
proposed to be built after 2015, be linked to Robertson Rd in
Independent commissioners Denis Nugent and Jane Taylor have
adjourned the hearing and are likely to release their
decision within t three weeks.
While all parties heard this week agree the resort's southern
entrance needs a two-lane bridge, there are disagreements
over its provisions.
The Frankton Community Association submitted that the bridge
should connect with Robertson Rd and help link with the
Eastern Access Rd that will lead to the Remarkables Park Ltd
and Shotover developments.
Remarkables Park Ltd made the same suggestion, saying it
would reduce travel time and improve amenity.
This would involve either lowering the road or raising the
bridge at a cost of $1 million.
Submitting on behalf of the association, Bill Falcone said
the link to Robertson Rd would take the pressure off the
already congested BP roundabout in Frankton and provide a
direct access and bypass to Hawthorne Dr.
He said the cheaper option was the wrong option.
''Council are saying we will do anything as long as it's
quick, all for the sake of $1.2 million. It's so
shortsighted, it's sickening.
The association's report stated work in the past had been
done too quickly, leaving the community with a ''fallout for
decades and generations to come''.
''If we as a community fail to address this issue now, we
will be unfairly burdening future generations.''
Queenstown Lakes District Council transport manager Denis
Mander said the council supported the NZTA's plans for the
bridge so long as the conditions of good design for cycling
and walkways are met.
''Council is comfortable with the location and design of the
bridge, but seek commitments from NZTA on conditions relating
to urban design and cycling and walking.''
However, the NZTA's right of reply to all submissions stated
there was no requirement for it to show its plans would meet
project objectives better than the alternatives of the
''That others might consider their alternatives to be better
The NZTA had considered the Robertson St option, but did not
consider it appropriate or required as it did not ''present
value for money''.
The NZTA submitted its statutory responsibilities were to
manage the state highway system, but it was not responsible
for all local vehicle, cycle and pedestrian movements.
However, Mr Mander said it was most important that there be
considerations made over the amenity of the bridge to walkers
and cyclists as it had the potential to affect people's
perspective of the wider Queenstown Trail.
Lakes Environmental infrastructure engineer Alan Hopkins was
swayed by some submissions and said there should be some
consideration of the Robertson St option if the council put
forward that case.
In 2011, variations were considered by the NZTA to align the
bridge further from the now-preferred location. However,
these variations were dismissed due to cost.
The cost difference between a concrete bridge and a steel
bridge was also debated, the latter being the cheapest at
$18.5 million, compared with $21.8 million.