Further delays for bridge
The Clutha District Council is carrying out further investigations into the Hina Hina Bridge project after receiving only one tender for critical strengthening work.
The bridge has deteriorated during several years, with resultant severe weight restrictions now in place for safety reasons.
In March, the council announced work to strengthen the bridge following Transport Agency funding approval. This meant the council would fund 41 per cent of the $1.13m budget, with the agency funding the remaining 59 per cent.
However, the council only received one tender for the project, ‘‘significantly over’’ the approved budget.
Council group manager of service delivery Jules Witt said that had left the council and the agency looking at building a new bridge, rather than repairing the current one.
‘‘This is expected to be more cost-effective in the long term. We need to make sure we’re doing the right work to get the best bang for ratepayers’ buck.’’
Witt said the council understood the further delay would be a frustration for bridge users in the Catlins. ‘‘We’ll keep the community informed of progress, as we know the bridge is a critical link to Jack’s Bay.’’ The rebuild will be considered as part of the 2018-21 roading programme, with geotechnical investigations expected to start in the next few months.
The Hina Hina Bridge connects Owaka and Jack’s Bay in the Catlins.