Road options to be studied

The options for speeding up the widening of the low road around the Otago Peninsula, and how much that could cost ratepayers, will be studied over the next month.

The council is considering how it could afford to expedite the work to have the $25 million project finished in the next four years, instead of the planned nine years, after inter-community debate broke out during this year's annual planning process.

The road widening includes the installation of a shared path for cyclists and pedestrians. Some sections of road have already been widened.

Communities on the Broad Bay-Portobello section of the road wanted their part of the widening project completed first, while communities at the Vauxhall end of the road, and cyclists, wanted the link between Vauxhall and the already widened section around Macandrew Bay, done first.

All argued their sections needed to be done sooner, for safety reasons.

Council transportation programme engineer Michael Harrison said staff expected to engage a consultant within the next week to work through the options for paying to speed up the project.

The consultant would be expected to produce a report on the feasibility of accelerating the project and how much that would cost.

The plan was present the options to the council's infrastructure services committee in November.

Councillors asked staff to investigate how it could get the project finished sooner with no, or a minimal, increase in ratesIf the council did not agree on any of the options for speeding up the project, it would then have to decide the order in which the various sections of Portobello and Harington Point Rds would be completed, Mr Harrison said.

The budget for the consultant would come from the department's operational budget.

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