Dou­ble cross­ing for Christ­mas

Central Otago Mirror - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - DASHA KU­PRIENKO

A tem­po­rary two-lane Kawa­rau Falls bridge cross­ing will be a Christ­mas present for Queen­stown driv­ers.

Trav­ellers will go across the old bridge and use one lane of the new Kawa­rau Falls bridge dur­ing the busy pe­riod of Christ­mas and New Year.

New Zealand Trans­port Agency and con­struc­tion com­pany McCon­nell Dow­ell have agreed on a traf­fic man­age­ment plan.

The agency’s re­gional re­la­tion­ships di­rec­tor Jim Har­land said they were work­ing on de­liv­er­ing the best out­come for the com­mu­nity.

‘‘Given the pres­sure on high­ways around Queen­stown dur­ing the Christ­mas, New Year peak, driv­ers will be trav­el­ling over the new bridge as well as the ex­ist­ing bridge by the end of this year, in or­der to al­low two-way traf­fic and avoid the tra­di­tional traf­fic bot­tle­neck at this time of year.’’

The two-lane $22 mil­lion bridge was sched­uled to be open be­fore the ski sea­son this year.

How­ever, the due date was post­poned un­til late March next year.

NZTA project man­ager Phil Dow- sett said driv­ers’ tol­er­ance and un­der­stand­ing was ap­pre­ci­ated.

‘‘Through­out the con­struc­tion, the Trans­port Agency and McCon­nell Dow­ell will be work­ing to­gether to min­imise the in­evitable dis­rup­tion to traf­fic whilst get­ting the work done as quickly as pos­si­ble,’’ he said.

The State High­way 6 Kawa­rau Falls Bridge project pro­gramme has been ad­justed to in­clude the two Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil wa­ter pipe­lines.

The coun­cil will spend $7.3 mil­lion on new waste wa­ter and wa­ter main pipe­lines that were pro­jected to cost $1m.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Thee­len said it was a sen­si­ble in­vest­ment.

‘‘As new de­vel­op­ment ac­cel­er­ates in ar­eas south of the bridge, it is im­por­tant to en­sure we take the op­por­tu­nity to get new in­fra­struc­ture in place early.

‘‘While this work will im­pact on the fi­nal com­ple­tion date for the project, do­ing it now will be less dis­rup­tive than dig­ging up the road in a few years’ time to lay them then,’’ Thee­len said.

The pipe­lines are part of coun­cil’s in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment to sup­port Han­ley Downs, Jack’s Point and Kelvin Heights sub­di­vi­sions.

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