New bridge to re­open soon

Ruapehu Press - - Your Paper, Your Place - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Coun­cil road con­trac­tors have fin­ished pour­ing the deck on a $500,000 up­grade to Waite­whena rail over bridge north of Ohura due to re­open soon.

The bridge is part of coun­cil’s wider eco­nomic devel­op­ment pro­gramme that aims to open up the pro­duc­tive po­ten­tial of Ruapehu’s pri­mary pro­duc­ers, forestry and tourism sec­tors.

Ruapehu Land Trans­port and Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment man­ager, War­ren Furner said in­vest­ment in land trans­port has long been coun­cil’s big­gest ex­pen­di­ture item.

‘‘We recog­nise that en­abling our com­mu­ni­ties to cap­i­talise on their po­ten­tial is de­pen­dent on hav­ing ac­cess to an ef­fi­cient, ef­fec­tive and safe road net­work.’’

The new Waite­whena rail over bridge is one of four ma­jor bridge projects, along with a large cul­vert re­place­ment on the Whangaehu Val­ley Rd, that coun­cil would like to see com­pleted by the end of this com­ing sum­mer,’’ Furner said.

Other bridge projects on the draw­ing board are the Man­gateitei Rail over bridge near Ohakune, the Man­ga­paroa Rail over bridge near Ohura and the Poro-o-tarao bridge past Waim­iha that re­quired re­pairs in Fe­bru­ary fol­low­ing dam­age from heavy ve­hi­cles.

A re­cent NZ Trans­port Agency In­vest­ment Au­dit in June iden­ti­fied that Ruapehu com­mu­ni­ties were in­vest­ing what they could af­ford into their road net­work but the lo­cal affordable con­tri­bu­tion level was un­der what was nec­es­sary to main­tain the net­work in a good con­di­tion.

Furner said in the past coun­cil had suc­cess­fully ar­gued Ruapehu needed to have the Fund­ing As­sis­tance Rate set at the high­est pos­si­ble level to max­imise the dis­tricts con­tri­bu­tion to the gov­ern­ment’s growth agenda.

‘‘The 2014 NZTA re­view of FAR sub­si­dies saw Ruapehu’s FAR set at sixty three per­cent then ris­ing by one per­cent per an­num un­til it reaches the max­i­mum FAR of seventy two per­cent in 2023-24.

‘‘Re­spond­ing to the In­vest­ment Au­dit coun­cil has now writ­ten to the NZTA re­quest­ing that the grad­ual one per­cent per an­num tran­si­tion to the sev­eny two per­cent FAR sub­sidy be brought for­ward to start from next year and that the Ohakune Moun­tain Rd and Bruce Rd at Whaka­papa re­tain their one hun­dred per­cent sub­sidy.’’

A frosty start to the week saw a num­ber of ve­hi­cles slid­ing off the road due to icy con­di­tions.

For­tu­nately there were no in­juries when a ve­hi­cle lost con­trol on the ice and went over a bank on the Hiwi Hill. TUES­DAY, JUNE 27 Dis­plea­sure over the cost of a bill re­sulted in a fe­male be­ing tres­passed from a lo­cal busi­ness.

Po­lice at­tended a do­mes­tic be­tween a fa­ther and son af­ter the son took a car which was later re­cov­ered.

Wed­nes­day 28th . A very quiet day with no in­ci­dents re­ported. THURS­DAY, JUNE 29 A young male, who was evicted from his fa­ther’s house, was found in­side and sub­se­quently tres­passed from the ad­dress.

A driver and two chil­dren were taken to Tau­marunui Hospi­tal for ob­ser­va­tion af­ter their car went over a bank af­ter driv­ing over black ice on Oio Rd. FRI­DAY, JUNE 30 Ice on a S-bend near the Hiwi’s caused a ve­hi­cle to leave the road re­sult­ing in mod­er­ate in­juries for the driver. SATUR­DAY-JULY 1 A horse on Sy­monds Rd was re­turned to its pad­dock.

Un­law­ful hunt­ing of a deer was re­ported. Firearms were seized from an un­li­censed fe­male.

In the evening the driver of a ve­hi­cle fell asleep, crossed the cen­tre line and crashed into an on­com­ing ve­hi­cle. For­tu­nately there were no in­juries but the driver will be ap­pear­ing in court on care­less driv­ing charges.

Two do­mes­tic in­ci­dents were also at­tended. SUN­DAY, JULY 2 A small tree over­hang­ing the road on Hospi­tal Hill was dragged to the side of the road. COM­MU­NITY MES­SAGE Po­lice are en­cour­ag­ing mo­torists to take some sim­ple steps to keep them­selves and oth­ers safe on the roads as large num­bers of Lions fans travel over the com­ing weeks. Road Polic­ing In­spec­tor Peter Mcken­nie said many in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors will stop off at tourist spots along the way.

‘‘It is im­por­tant not to al­low frus­tra­tion to lead to risk tak­ing.’’

Work­ers put the fin­ish­ing touches to the new deck on the Waite­whena rail over bridge that is due to re­open early July.

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