A recommendation tabled at the infrastructure committee
meeting yesterday could be a bridge too far for the
Queenstown Lakes District Council.
Councillors gave a lukewarm response to the idea of taking
ownership of the old Kawarau Falls Bridge, if the benefits
outweighed the costs.
Transport policy and stakeholder manager Denis Mander also
recommended the committee agree council officers negotiate
with the Ministry of Innovation, Business and Employment to
secure the bridge for utilities, cyclists and pedestrians.
The 87-year-old bridge and dam is the only physical link
across the Kawarau River between Frankton and Kelvin Heights.
When the $18 million two-lane replacement is built, the New
Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) intends to give up its lease
over the old bridge. Maintenance responsibility will go back
to the ministry.
During the public forum, Remarkables Park Ltd resource
management planner Jenny Carter said the company did not
believe the bridge should be owned by the council.
Remarkables Park agreed with the Otago Regional Council that
the two bridges should be maintained in parallel by the NZTA,
Ms Carter said.
Cr John Mann asked in committee if the securing of utilities
over the old bridge had been overlooked by the council.
Mr Mander said the relocation needed to be costed and an
estimate was not available.
''Ideally, we stick with the current bridge for the
foreseeable future,'' he said.
''The new bridge does provide space for utilities.''
Cr Lex Perkins said a lot of discussion was needed before the
recommendation was considered. Cr Jude Battson said it was a
council decision, not a committee one.
However, Cr Trevor Tattersfield said the transfer was ''a big
ask for NZTA to wipe its hands and dump it on us.''
Committee members suggested the NZTA own the bridge and the
council manage it.
Chairman Lyal Cocks, backed by Queenstown Lakes Mayor Vanessa
van Uden, asked Mr Mander to negotiate with relevant
The recommendation was amended so the committee ''considers''
ownership of the old bridge transferring to the council.
The resolution, moved by Cr Tattersfield and seconded by Cr
Battson, was carried unanimously.