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Final plans prepared for Milford bridge

LIZ WILLIS
Last updated 05:00 21/01/2014
Milford Bridge

NEW CROSSING: A pedestrian bridge will span Wairau Creek at the northern end of Milford

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Detailed designs for Milford's controversial $2.3 million footbridge are being prepared by Auckland Council staff.

The bridge is being designed to open in the centre to allow boats in and out of the marina around the high tides.

Safety fears have been raised by yachties after suggestions a remote operator would raise the bridge on demand to let them through.

Options for the operation of the bridge are still being considered, council local and sports parks north manager Martin Van Jaarsveld says.

"The project has resource consent and is scheduled to be constructed over the next two to three years.

"We are aiming to have the detailed design completed in the coming months," Mr Van Jaarsveld says.

Wairau Creek creates a barrier than means pedestrians don't have direct beach access at the northern end of Milford Beach.

Milford's last bridge near this spot was demolished in the 1970s and some residents lobbied the council for years for it to be replaced.

The new pedestrian bridge is about 40 metres long, spanning Wairau Creek between Inga Rd, Beach Rd and Milford Reserve.

A hearing on the issue attracted 98 submissions in opposition and 59 in support.

Opponents raised cost and operating issues and supporters wanted a longer coastal walkway and better pedestrian access.

The hearing commissioners' decision, released in 2012, said they were satisfied the bridge's lifting system would work, balancing the needs of pedestrians and marina users.

Despite this, the commissions made a 12 month review of the remote operation a condition of consent.

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