Paremata’s bridge over troubled waters
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.
Paremata Bridge on State Highway One has been a magnet for adventurous jumpers.