Pare­mata’s bridge over trou­bled waters

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FAL­LON

Porirua city Coun­cil has hit up its re­gional coun­ter­part to chip in $80,000 for a jump­ing board to boost road and wa­ter safety.

The con­tri­bu­tion would mean about $220,000 was avail­able for a jump­ing plat­form built to lure young­sters away from the bridge on State High­way 1 in Pare­mata.

Over sum­mer the bridge be­comes a com­mu­nal div­ing plat­form for young peo­ple.

Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said the coun­cil had con­cerns about the safety of peo­ple cross­ing the busy road and jump­ing from the bridge into the wa­ter.

‘‘The coun­cil feels quite pow­er­less on the is­sue be­cause peo­ple look to us but it’s a re­gional coun­cil is­sue as well as an NZTA one.’’

‘‘NZTA runs the road, we have a safety is­sue on the road.’’

Leggett said the no jump­ing signs on the bridge were un­en­force­able from a coun­cil per­spec­tive.

The re­gional coun­cil will vote next week whether it will con­trib­ute the $80,000 re­quested by Porirua coun­cil.

Its con­tri­bu­tion would be com­bined with $130,000 set aside by Porirua for the plat­form in the next fi­nan­cial year.

Re­gional coun­cil­lor Bar­bara Don­ald­son said the con­tri­bu­tion de­pended on the trans­port agency giv­ing a sim­i­lar amount.

‘‘We see our in­volve­ment as re­spon­si­bil­ity for har­bour safety,’’ she said.

‘‘NZTA need to play a sig­nif­i­cant part in mak­ing their road safe,’’ she said.

‘‘There is a safety is­sue when kids are jump­ing into the wa­ter in front of and be­hind launch­ing boats.’’

Neil Walker, re­gional high­ways man­ager for NZ Trans­port, said the agency was com­mit- ted to work­ing with the two coun­cils to in­crease safety.

‘‘NZ Trans­port Agency is con­cerned about safety around Pare­mata Bridge.

‘‘That stretch of State High­way 1 is very busy, and peo­ple put them­selves at risk when they run across the high­way.

‘‘Peo­ple jump­ing off the bridge can also be a dis­trac­tion to mo­torists.’’

Porirua coun­cil park man­ager Olivia Dovey said cost­ings for the plat­form were in­dica­tive at this stage.

She said they were based on a Welling­ton City Coun­cil jump­ing plat­form that cost $220,000.

She said the coun­cil would con­sult with Porirua teenagers to find out what they wanted.

‘‘The key thing is that kids want to use it,’’ she said.

PHOTO: FAIR­FAX

Pare­mata Bridge on State High­way One has been a mag­net for ad­ven­tur­ous jumpers.

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