Kawarau Bridge decision near

Gerry Brownlee
Gerry Brownlee
Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee yesterday indicated an announcement on the contentious State Highway 6 Kawarau Bridge at Frankton could be close.

At the Mainland Conference 2014 in Queenstown on Saturday Clutha-Southland National Party candidate Todd Barclay made a figurative reference to the dilapidated bridge.

''I want to build a strong bridge between Queenstown and the rest of the electorate,'' he said, drawing laughter and applause.

Yesterday, Mr Brownlee said he knew the bridge ''between Queenstown and Dipton'' was extremely close to Mr Barclay's heart and he could look forward to ''a reasonable announcement coming in the next couple of months''.

Mr Brownlee later said he would not elaborate other than to say he had been ''under lobby previously from Bill English and that's being continued by Todd''.

Last year, independent commissioners recommended the Queenstown Lakes District Council approve the construction of a two-lane, $18 million bridge at Kawarau Falls. However, a new bridge was not expected until after 2016.

It was reported last month nearly half a million dollars had been spent repairing the bridge in the past 10 years, most of it on the running boards.


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