James Line wait­ing for up­grade

The Tribune (NZ) - - NEWS - JA­NINE RANKIN

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.

DAVID UNWIN/FAIR­FAX NZ

James Line’s trans­for­ma­tion from coun­try lane to ur­ban road is still months away from start­ing.

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