Opinion: Great idea for battered road

New Brighton Rd. Photo: Geoff Sloan
New Brighton Rd. Photo: Geoff Sloan
I like people who think outside of the box.

It’s where we get our best innovations - it leads to discoveries and new ways of doing things.

We have one of those out of the box ideas on starnews.co.nz - and for my money it looks like a pretty good one.

New Christchurch city councillor Phil Mauger wants part of New Brighton Rd rebuilt on red zone land.

New Brighton Rd was smashed in the February 22, 2011, earthquake and parts of the road, which is the major link between Shirley and New Brighton, is still in fairly much the same state.

Ongoing patch-up repairs have worked for a short time but water from the Avon River always returns in a big tide or when it rains to undo the work.

So Mauger has come up with an idea. Move part of New Brighton Rd away from the river onto the red zone.

Last year the city council earmarked $1 million to fix a tiny part of the road between Bower Ave and Wattle Drive.

It floods badly there – always has, even well before the earthquake when a king tide or heavy winter rain fell. The river would spill over and run down towards Wattle Drive.

To rebuild all of New Brighton Rd would cost squillions, but doing something is vital if it is to be able to carry the much-anticipated traffic when New Brighton becomes a thriving seaside village in 10 years. That’s according to some of our city leaders anyway.

So after what appears to be Mauger’s idea, the city council has parked repairing the stretch between Bower Ave and Wattle Drive, pending further thinking. That’s a good idea.

Now the real work begins in terms of mapping out how parts of the road could be moved from where it is now onto parts of the red zone, how much that will cost and when it can be factored into the city’s budget.

Mauger should sit alongside council staff when that conversation happens.

As a businessman in the construction industry he will know how to get the best value for ratepayers if the project gets traction.

That’s the kind of co-operation and outside of the box thinking we need going forward.