Big bill to get sewage over river
The $5.3 million price tag for a new Queenstown sewer line raised eyebrows around the Queenstown Lakes District Council table.
Mayor Jim Boult was among those who expressed concerns at the price given by the NZ Transport Agency to construct and connect wastewater and water pipes to the new Kawarau Falls Bridge.
It was $1m more than had previously been budgeted.
‘‘I’d hate to think we’re picking up the cost of overspend elsewhere,’’ Boult said.
Council infrastructure manager Peter Hansby said he had arranged for an independent cost review.
There were considerable efficiency gains in completing the works as part of the bridge construction work, which was under way, he said.
The existing sewer pipes on the old bridge were near capacity and the bridge had earthquake resilience issues.
Hansby said in the future there would need to be a second bridge across the Kawarau River to carry sewage but this one was required sooner given ongoing developments at Hanley Downs, Jacks Point and Kelvin Heights.
The council’s chief engineer, Ulrich Glasner, said it would be 10 to 15 years before another option would be required.
The council approved the spend after hearing an alternative option from Remarkables Park development manager Brian Fitzpatrick, who said the $5.3m price tag was ‘‘absurd’’.
Instead, the council should consider building a new downstream bridge across the Kawarau River at Boyd Rd that could be used for pedestrians and cyclists as well as carry the waste water infrastructure, he said.
It would be shorter and offer a commute of two kilometres less for Wakatipu High School students travelling to the school’s new campus from the Hanley Downs and Jacks Point areas.
‘‘This is a good option that gives something to this community,’’ he said.
council assurances that proposed toilet upgrades at the Frankton beach area, Ramshaw Lane in Arrowtown, and Mt Aspiring Rd would proceed in the 2017-18 financial year, despite a decision to defer the replacement of existing toilets.
‘‘I think the
Frankton,’’ he said.
Boult said the toilets were currently ‘‘awful but operational.’’