CODC decides road projects

The Central Otago District Council roading subcommittee prioritised projects for $1.6 million of government funding at a meeting in Alexandra this week.

The committee decided to recommend the funding, described as R funding, be used for $885,000 of seal extensions throughout the district, a $362,000 seal extension on Conroys Rd near Alexandra, and a $345,000 upgrade of Royal Tce in central Alexandra.

The $885,000 seal extensions to Boulton Rd, Rockview Rd, Fraser Domain Rd, Hawley Rd, Ord Rd, Eureka Rd, McIntosh Rd, Hanning Rd, and Ophir Bridge Rd, were completed in 2006 and 2007.

CODC roading manager Julie Muir said the R funding was generated by a Government 5c fuel tax which was imposed in 2005 for 10 years.

Throughout New Zealand, district authorities were able to recommend how the fuel tax income should be used in their areas, and a technical advisory group made up of representatives from Transit New Zealand, Land Transport New Zealand, and local authorities provided those recommendations to a regional land transport committee that allocated the funding.

Mrs Muir said there was roughly $5 million available for Central Otago, out of a $99m funding pool for the Otago region.

The subcommittee also resolved to make a submission to Transit to get the remaining $3.4m of R funding spent on various projects within the district that were not automatically eligible for the fuel tax income.

Clyde's proposed underpass, costing an estimated $400,000, was the subcommittee's top priority for the remaining funding, as it would enable cyclists and pedestrians safe access into and out of Clyde away from the main highway.

The submission would ask for the underpass project to be included in Transit's draft programme for 2008 and 2009.

‘‘There's no dispute within this community that it's a project which needs to go ahead, but on a national level Transit doesn't see it as a priority. The estimated number of users of the underpass is how Transit gauge its importance,'' Mrs Muir said.

Transit's Otago regional manager, Mike O'Cain, told the meeting the reason Clyde's proposed underpass had not been included was because the benefit-cost ratio was very low.

Included in the submission would also be a recommendation that the Maori Point Rd intersection, Pisa Moorings turning lane, State Highway 8 footpath from Barry Ave to Alpha St, and the Bendigo Loop Rd turning lane projects should be included in Transit's minor improvement programme for the district in 2008 and 2009.

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