Budget rises by $400k
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.