James Line waiting for upgrade
The $2.9 million upgrade of the bottom section of Palmerston North’s James Line has been further delayed while stormwater management plans are refined in order to gain resource consent.
The roading project for the section between State Highway 3 and the railway line went out to tender in March, but the city council has not awarded the contract while final details are still to be confirmed.
The work is unlikely to start before November.
City council road planning team leader David Lane said as a result of the delay, and changes to the plans, the council would call for fresh tender applications.
Cr Ross Linklater said he was concerned to see the work drifting further behind schedule.
It had originally been planned for a start to be made in July 2015.
‘‘We are now not expected to make a start before November, 15 months after the indicated start date.’’
Lane said because of the changes to the work, the possible changes in costs, and the chance that contractors might have taken on other work affecting their availability, it was prudent to readvertise.
Stormwater from the new, widened road with its kerbs and channels would discharge into the oxbow on the city side of James Line.
Council asset engineer Robin Malley said the oxbow was identified in the regional One Plan as a threatened habitat.
At the moment water simply ran off James Line, down the slope.
Once it was collected into pipes it would run faster, and the council had to ensure it did not harm existing water quality or have harmful effects on the environment.
The treatments might have to include installing filtration devices on the stormwater outlets, that would have to be regularly cleaned and maintained.
There might need to be some detention ponds that would hold the water back and let it flow out more slowly.
Malley said the council expected enough feedback from Horizons to enable tenders to be recalled ahead of the formal issuing of a consent, possibly in October or November.
The project is expected to take about six months to complete, bringing the short length of country road up to urban standards to cater for current demand and future growth.
James Line’s transformation from country lane to urban road is still months away from starting.