Work on track


A $2.5 mil­lion South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil-funded rail sid­ing project has fi­nally come to life as work be­gins with a com­ple­tion date al­ready in sight.

The RJ Lin­coln Lo­gis­tics-in­spired project be­gan Mon­day and is ex­pected to be com­pleted by April.

Along­side the $ 1.73m al­ready in­vested in the project from other coun­cil bud­gets, it re­ceived $770,000 from the $5m eco­nomic and com­mu­nity fund.

Work at Toko­roa’s Boro­nia St site will con­sist of lev­el­ling out the land which is cur­rently a hilly pad­dock.

Downer con­trac­tor man­ager Mark Watkins said the site will be vis­i­bly dif­fer­ent very quickly.

‘‘You’ll see a lot of changes in the first six to nine days.’’

After the site is lev­elled, roads and the rail ter­mi­nal will start to form and a rail line will be con­structed simultaneously.

By April, trains from Kin­leith will be un­load­ing from the site.

RJ Lin­coln’s Gavin O’Donoghue said the ini­tial idea has been in the pipe­line for about three years.

It wasn’t un­til the coun­cil came on board that it had fi­nally started to be­come real, he said.

‘‘The length of time was be­cause of the money.’’

While neigh­bours ob­jected to the project, O’Donoghue said it was in the best in­ter­ests for the com­mu­nity be­cause it would ex­pand in­dus­try in Toko­roa.

O’Donoghue said work had al­ready been cre­ated and up to 30 jobs were ex­pected to be es­tab­lished over the com­ing years.

WORKS BE­GIN: Downer con­trac­tor man­ager Mark Watkins, left, RJ Lin­coln Lo­gis­tics owner Ray­mond Lin­coln, mayor Neil Sinclair, deputy mayor Jenny Shat­tock and RJ Lin­coln’s Gavin O’Donoghue be­gin the coun­cil-in­vested rail sid­ing project.

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