Extra $1.47m unbudgeted expenditure for bridges

The 50m metre section of bridge over the Mataura River was knocked out by floodwaters. Photo:...
The 50m metre section of bridge over the Mataura River was knocked out by floodwaters last year. Photo: Gore District Council
A programme to replace 193 bridges in Southland got a funding boost yesterday.

Southland District council on Wednesday approved unbudgeted expenditure of up to $1.47million over the remaining two-year programme of the long-term plan.

The approval was required as NZ Transport Agency committed to provide an additional funding of $3million to help resolve the programme shortfall if council contributed with their 49%.

A report presented at the meeting stated the amount would be funded by an internal loan, over 20 years which would mean an impact on total rates of 0.24%.

Council manager services and assets Matt Russel said said the additional funding would be significant in relation to the current bridge replacement budget of approximately $1million per annum.

"It is roughly a quarter of what is required."

A report presented at the meeting said the budget required for the programme was $30.1million but this amount could grow to $40million if council decided to replace all the structures.

Mr Russel also said there were 171 bridges that would reach the end of their useful lives in 12 years and 22 had a remaining useful life of less than 20 years.

From this number, council recommended the removal of 41 structures, which would have a replacement cost of $9.4million and a remval cost of $0.8million.

"Council could save $8.6million."

The document said this matter would be consulted about in the next long-term plan.

Cr Brian Dillon said they should create a "strong case" and a strategy to present to NZTA.

Cr Stuart Baird suggested to the council staff producing a report to understand why the council was in this situation. Councillors approved a recommendation to officers to produce a report on the bridges strategy to council.

Comments

Seriously, councilors need a report to tell them that not enough has been spent on bridge replacement over the past 20 to 30 years? Would someone please turn the lights on so these councilors can see the daylight.

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