No start on waterfront bridge before 2021

Construction of a new pedestrian and cycling bridge linking to Dunedin's waterfront is not expected to begin for more than a year, the Dunedin City Council says.

A council spokesman told the Otago Daily Times the $20 million architecturally inspired bridge crossing the main railway line near Dunedin's Chinese Garden was still on the cards, but construction was not expected to begin until 2021.

In May, the council had indicated it was hopeful work on the bridge could begin later this year, but the wait for a Provincial Growth Fund allocation had dragged on until $19.9 million to support the waterfront project was finally announced last week.

In the meantime, only a small amount of geotechnical testing had been carried out to support the business case for the bridge, the spokesman said.

Detailed geotechnical testing was not expected to be completed until contracts to build the bridge were confirmed.

In the meantime, the business plan for the bridge was being prepared in accordance with the NZ Transport Agency's better business case process, to ensure it complied and qualified for agency funding.

The $20 million cost of the bridge was expected to be shared by the council and the NZTA but the exact split was yet to be determined, the spokesman said.

The business case for the bridge was due to be completed by March next year.

Asked if there could be changes to the style of bridge envisaged, the spokesman said the council remained committed to an architectural bridge but would not speculate on any other changes.

"It would be premature to flag changes - if there are indeed any - before the completion of the business case.''


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