Bud­get rises by $400k

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

The bud­get to up­grade the Air­lie Rd bridge has blown out by $400,000, with the pro­ject un­likely to be com­pleted be­fore the mid­dle of the year.

A 2007 in­spec­tion found the one-lane bridge needed a sig­nif­i­cant amount of main­te­nance to keep it up to scratch.

It was de­cided a dou­ble-lane struc­ture would be built, at a cost of about $1.2 mil­lion.

How­ever, a progress re­port given to Porirua City coun­cil­lors last week said ten­ders had come in ‘‘sig­nif­i­cantly higher than the bud­get pro­vided in the an­nual plan’’ be­cause of the need for ad­di­tional clear­ance over the rail­way line.

A third rail­way line is likely to be built in the fu­ture, mean­ing a longer span is re­quired.

The re­port also noted ‘‘dif­fi­cul­ties’’ had arisen in get­ting a NZ Trans­port Agency sub­sidy for the pro­ject.

Coun­cil­lor Euon Mur­rell said the is­sue of the Air­lie Rd bridge be­ing re­placed had been dis­cussed as long as he had been around the coun­cil ta­ble, and he was sick of it be­ing de­ferred for one rea­son or an­other.

He thought PCC ‘‘ had a gun to its head’’ with Ki­wiRail dic­tat­ing the terms. ‘‘Can’t we just tell them to go away?’’ The coun­cil’s man­ager of as­set man­age­ment and op­er­a­tions Peter Bai­ley said the rail­way line es­sen­tially had the right of way be­cause it was the first route and Ki­wiRail could set the con­di­tions by which the bridge would be built.

Mayor Nick Leggett agreed it was not a ‘‘won­der­ful sit­u­a­tion’’ but the coun­cil needed to ac­cept in prin­ci­ple if a higher and longer bridge was needed.

‘‘Growth pro­jec­tions in the re­gion are high and rail is part of this,’’ he said.

‘‘We’ve got a re­spon­si­bil­ity to this pro­ject. We need to meet them [Ki­wiRail] up­front or else we face ex­tra costs in the fu­ture.’’

Coun­cil­lors also agreed – over the ob­jec­tions of some east­ern ward mem­bers – to de­fer stormwa­ter main­te­nance work at Thompson Grove, Porirua East.

De­spite ma­jor flood­ing in the street last win­ter, it was de­cided $68,000 of un­planned work was ur­gently re­quired at Wairaka Rd in Pukerua Bay af­ter the par­tial fail­ure of a cul­vert and pipes.

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