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Upgrade 'No substitute for second bridge'

Upgrade 'No substitute for second bridge'

The Tinwald corridor upgrade is a poor substitute for the benefits of the second bridge.
Councillor Richard Wilson didn’t hold back on describing the Tinwald project as a poor outcome compared to the bigger-picture benefits of the second bridge.
“This doesn’t substitute for a second bridge,” Wilson said.
Waka Kotahi presented the Ashburton District Council with the plans for the Tinwald Corridor upgrade, which is currently out for tender.
Wilson described it as a “poor outcome” as it’s only a start to addressing the congestion woes.
Wilson believes the intersection upgrade will be beneficial for connectivity but is adamant the major issue is the congestion and traffic flow, which it won’t address.
He questioned how traffic lights would solve anything when the traffic through Tinwald is quite often “any time after 3pm nose to tail”.
Wilson remains concerned about the impact of the up to 10 months of roadworks on the already congested stretch of road, believing the project could be completed much faster.
“We’ve learnt that wet days no-one works. Weekends no-one works. A sniff of Covid no-one works. Any excuse no-one works, what’s in the contract to hold them to account effectively, because 10 months seems a long time.
“You said it could be done quicker, well this piece of infrastructure, there is no reason it couldn’t be squeezed.”
It’s a fixed-price contract for the contractor no matter how long the work takes but Wilson said the longer it takes the costs to start to be “borne by our community”.
Other councillors agreed with Wilson that 10 months, much shorter than the 18 months the Walnut Avenue upgrade required, would be too long.
Waka Kotahi’s director of regional relationships, James Caygill, said the length of the construction time will be clearer once the work is tendered.
The tender is scheduled to be awarded at the end of May or early June, and then a sod turn and site blessing will occur in early June before construction begins.

  • By Jonathan Leask