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Looming deadlines for New Zealand Transport Agency funding assistance are pressing the Dunedin City Council to identify its transportation project priorities before considering other budget priorities.
Councillors were told last week they could adjust or delete projects later if council budgets required it, but could not add things into the NZTA's work programmes, so they had to be added now.
In order for the council's transport projects to receive co-funding from the NZTA, things the council would like to do must be flagged for inclusion in the Otago regional land transport plan (RLTP) by September 30, transportation planning manager Sarah Connolly and transportation group manager Gene Ollerenshaw told them.
But to get into the RLTP, projects must be in the council's 10-year long-term plan, the latest version of which would not be signed off until next June.
They presented councillors with a list of possible projects to consider. Some were already committed to, and funding was included in the long-term plan (which is updated every three years); others were new, either falling out of the integrated transport strategy adopted last year or identified recently, such as a Frederick St car park, although the staff noted that project could be delivered at no cost if suitable funders could be found.
New projects councillors might wish to seek to include in the RLTP were the central city project, Mosgiel upgrade and suburban cycle networks, Ms Connolly said.
The central city project was projected to cost an estimated $20 million.
The Mosgiel upgrade was estimated to cost about $4.5 million, while the outer suburban cycle network project cost, based on original high-level concepts, was $13.5 million.
Another $6 million was estimated to be required to complete safety and accessibility upgrades for urban centres other than the CBD and Mosgiel.
Other, as yet unfunded, projects that had arisen from unforeseen environmental conditions, organisational change and councillor or departmental-driven priorities included the St Clair seawall, which might need capital improvement, completing the street light renewal project and the Portobello-Harington Pt road widening project more quickly, a Frederick St car parking building, the revitalisation of Princes St and seal extensions.
Councillors have about four more weeks to confirm the projects they wish to be considered for co-funding from NZTA over the next 10 years, which would allow staff time to develop them to a point where they could be submitted to the RLTP process by the deadline, Mr Ollerenshaw said.
Project wish list
Projects with funding approval
• Portobello-Harington Point Rd widening ($25.4m).
• Street light upgrade ($6m).
• Mosgiel residential growth projects (transportation improvements mainly funded by development contributions).
• Minor improvements ($13.6m).
• Strategic cycle network ($4.5m).
New projects requiring funding
• Central city project: Cycleways ($5m), convert one-way to two-way south of Queens Gardens ($5.5m), CBD safety and accessibility upgrade ($4m), eastern bypass ($2.5m), city to harbour bridge ($3m), SH1 cycleway parking and amenity costs ($300,000).
• Mosgiel upgrades: Town centre safety and accessibility upgrade ($2m), cycle network ($2.5m).
• Outer cycle networks: Town belt ($8.5m), city-Mosgiel and Brighton ($5m).
• Urban centre upgrades: ($6m).
Recently identified projects
• Accelerate street light renewal; 3 years, not 5.
• Accelerate Portobello-Harington Point Rd widening; 4 years, not 9.
• Frederick St parking building.
• Princes St revitalisation.
• Reinstating seal extensions.