Footpath upgrade priced at more than $500k

Garry McCorkindale
Garry McCorkindale
A half-million-dollar price tag for a proposed footpath upgrade in Lawrence has raised eyebrows among civic leaders.

During its recent meeting, Lawrence-Tuapeka Community Board received a Clutha District Council report on possible upgrades for the town’s "Zig Zag" track joining Lancaster and Colonsay Sts.

Board chairwoman, ward councillor Mel Foster said the previous board had raised the condition of the track as a matter of concern, leading to the preparation of a concept plan for improvement.

Were the three-stage plan to be fully implemented, it would cost $544,000.

A scaled-down version of the plan would cost about $280,000, Clutha District Council service delivery group manager Jules Witt told the meeting.

The council has budgeted $50,000 for the project this financial year.

Mrs Foster said the plan need not be adopted wholesale, but was a "full-on" version from which elements and inspiration could be drawn.

Board member Garry McCorkindale said many original track issues had since been resolved, and a further "tidy-up" could fix those remaining at a lower cost to ratepayers.

"This is the first time we’ve seen costings and they are large. Working bees have improved the condition and appearance of the track since we first looked at it as a board.

"We’re not Queenstown; we’re a rustic country town. I’m just not sure the design is in keeping with the current nature of Lawrence."

The safety of the track during wet or frosty weather remained a key concern.

Board member Lindy Chinnery said safety could still be addressed affordably.

"There are cheaper solutions possible. If we provide a non-slip surface and add a seat halfway, that would come in under budget."

The board agreed to include the proposal for public consideration as part of the "Our Place Lawrence-Tuapeka" community plan process beginning next Thursday.


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