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.