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A 183-page indicative business case compiled for Ashburton District Council by consultants Stantec was discussed at yesterday’s council meeting.
The report re-affirmed Chalmers Ave as a technically preferred site for a second bridge, ahead of a duplicate State Highway 1 bridge off West St.
Stantec transport engineer Chris Rossiter told councillors there was a "fine line" between the two sites, but ultimately Chalmers Ave offered the most benefits.
The Chalmers Ave bridge would help reduce traffic on the highway through Ashburton and make it safer for local road users, as well as support future growth at Lake Hood and Tinwald east, he said.
All but councillor Diane Rawlinson voted to support a recommendation that the indicative business case, strategic case and options assessment be forwarded to Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency to advance to the next stage of the business case.
Council hopes to attract 80 per cent of the funding from the Government for the $35 million project, but currently NZTA will only fund 50 per cent.