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Roseneath tunnel

A million dollar answer to a thousand dollar question.

Sawyers Bay tunnel proposal

The old original tunnel is rich in Otago's history. "Josephine" and many other iconic Dunedin steam locomotives, made their way through this atmospheric passage. Today, the tunnel can  be a source of 'buried treasure' for future generations. If it can be restored and used as a walking / cycling track, would this not be a great asset to Otago, and NZ?

All acknowledge that tourism is currently our biggest earner of overseas currency. Studies show that heritage and outdoor activities, effectively take advantage of tourists' willingness to explore and enjoy our history and natural splendour.

As I understand it, the tunnel has been partially buried by a small amount of 'overburden' from the construction of the highway to Port Chalmers. Tunnels, by their nature, are designed to withstand the weight of 'overburden', as well as the constant 'hammering' of heavy trains. It would be extremely surprising to find that the tunnel is in less than sound condition.

Otago Harbour is a naturally beautiful asset for the people of Dunedin. The old tunnel under the neck of Rosneath, can enhance that great asset, as people enjoy the rail-trail, cycle-way/walking track.  I believe that it would be very cost effective, to uncover one of the tunnel entrances, and do a study of the tunnel's condition. If the tunnel is found to be solid, it could be the most cost effective cycle / walker corridor for local and international visitors.

I grew up in Sawyers Bay, so you could say I am slightly biased with this imaginative idea.



First steps

Samuel.Mann's suggestion is correct - the first step is to remove the blanket ban and then look at issues, options, and costs.

It may well be that Kiwirail decide the loop and shunting tracks cannot be moved for operational reasons and that would be a fair call.  They may also decide that those lines can be removed or relocated.

The issues of air quality, unit proximity, and fencing within and close to the tunnel could also be addressed and cost/benefit options weighed. 

But until Kiwirail are willing to have those discussions nothing can happen: this potential solution is being blocked due to a Senior Staff Member saying "Just because".  Hiding under a Cone of Silence called "safety" is not good enough.   Michael Woodhouse, please speak to Simon Bridges (Transport) and Todd McClay (SOE).

Using Roseneath tunnel for a bikeway

Sorry Dr Robert Thomson and Mr Steve Walker - the idea of using the existing tunnel along with trains is plain silly . Please! A little research of this type of thing before making public comment in future would greatly assist. I think that KiwiRail and the NZTA have been very restrained in their comments. 


Who will pay?

Samuel Mann asks "what would have to happen for the cycleway to pass through the tunnel"?

Putting aside the danger of fumes in the tunnel being a health hazard for cyclists (gas masks anyone?), you'll first need to relocate the 900 metre long Sawyers Bay crossing loop (the second track in the tunnel), to south of the tunnel.  With causeway widening works, track and signalling costs, you're probably looking at $30 million or so.

Then you'll have to build a new junction north of the tunnel, to access the Sawyers Bay yard and Port Chalmers Branch, and reconfigure the signalling there.  Probably another $5 million or so.

Assuming 100 cyclists per day, over 20 years, a $50 toll for each cyclist per use of the tunnel should pay for the above.  The gas masks could be handed out at the toll booth.

Coach's comments

This is a really disappointing response from the coach. Whether he intended or not, Fekitoa will have connected with a section of the community who may suffer from the same issues. By suggesting that he "just needs to play rugby" totally undermines the seriousness of the situation and could make those individuals less likely to seek professional help which could ultimately turn their life around.

The needs of the many

Lynden: You should be concerned to see the various amounts of money being spent on parts of Mayor Cull's Bicycle Network, while the total expected cost remains unknown/hidden. How can you support this project if you don't know the cost?

Also, if you have faith in "build it and they will come", then remember that this was Mayor Peter Chin's justification for the reckless decision to build their new stadium - a financial millstone that will be around our necks for several decades. Your assertion that American cities are starting to follow Portland's example uses vague/undefined terms and reads like marketing spin. Also, if you are saying that cycle lanes will reduce rates then I think that you are wrong.

In Dunedin, where wasting ratepayers money has become a habit, every dollar of DCC spending should be justified with good reasons - and not just good reasons. Project costs need to be honest and accurate and the benefits need to be measurable and great enough to justify the cost as well as any detrimental collateral effects. In my view the DCC and NZTA decisions to proceed with Dave Cull's Bicycle Network Obsession don't meet this standard which is needed to properly evaluate the viability of the project.

More self-entitled blokishness

Yes but these guys didn't "find a bush", they exposed themselves en-masse and urinated on the sign that said that where they could find the toilets.

They should have been proactive and stopped at the toilets they'd just passed, or held it until they got to the next set - it's not like they can claim they didn't know where the toilets were.

It's another case of self-entitled kiwi men who don't think that the rules of common decency apply to them.

Nobody died it seems

Seems that no-one really needs a $250m-plus stadium and a mown cattle paddock can attract just as many people as the expensive stadium which costs Dunedin ratepayers millions in interest payments.  And it rained a bit and nobody died.  Lesson to be learned is?

Smell is back

The smell is back today and it's worse than ever. It's beyind a joke and time for the DCC to call in people who know what they are doing no matter the cost.

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