Bridge options to be examined

Mayor Jim Boult at Queenstown's Edith Cavell Bridge. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Mayor Jim Boult at Queenstown's Edith Cavell Bridge. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Yet another attempt to ease Queenstown's traffic woes is being examined, as the 100-year-old Edith Cavell Bridge comes under scrutiny.

Options, including traffic lights and a second crossing, will be explored for the one-lane bridge, which links Arthurs Point and the town centre over the Shotover River.

It adds to the lengthy list of projects already under way to address traffic and transport in the area.

According to the NZ Transport Agency, there are seven business cases in the works, including the Town Centre project, Frankton to Queenstown, Wakatipu Active Travel Network, Grant Road to Kawarau Falls Bridge, Frankton Masterplan, Lake Wakatipu Public Water Ferry Service, and Queenstown Transport Modelling.

In a statement yesterday, Queenstown Mayor Jim Boult said the time was right to explore options for the Edith Cavell crossing.

"The Edith Cavell Bridge has served its community well for 100 years, but it's no surprise that our local traffic is rapidly outgrowing a one-lane bridge. We are only at the point of initiating thinking, but felt the time was right to let the community know that we are looking at what is needed to provide sufficient traffic flow.

"This could be anything from traffic lights to a second crossing. We have budget for the exploratory work but costs for delivering the final adopted solution would need to be agreed in a future 10-year plan."

The Edith Cavell Bridge is a well-known local landmark in the Queenstown Lakes district and is named to recognise the heroic efforts and death of an English World War I nurse.

Councillors formally acknowledged the name "Edith Cavell Bridge" at a council meeting on January 31.

Mr Boult said the name, originally coined by an ageing gold-miner from County Antrim, Northern Ireland, needed to be formally recognised by the council.

"This brave nurse gave so much of herself, risking her own safety, to save so many other lives during World War I, that it was without question that this council needed to formally recognise the name on the 100th anniversary of the bridge."


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