Fur­ther de­lays for bridge

Clutha Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - RICHARD DAVISON

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.

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