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New truck yard start of port redevelopment

CATHIE BELL
Last updated 09:17 07/07/2014

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Port Marlborough is to build a new truck marshalling yard for Strait Shipping, in the first stage of what is expected to be a $100 million redevelopment of the port over the next decade.

The resource consent application, filed with the Marlborough District Council last month, says the port company plans to move the Strait Shipping truck marshalling yards to a new yard, to be built next to the building where BlueBridge checks in car and foot passengers for its ferries.

The application says the new yard would be more "operationally efficient".

The land has been used for storage, but had been tidied up last month in preparation for the new use.

When the new marshalling yard is completed, the trucks will move from the area behind the cement works tanks on the waterfront that looks onto the wharf used by Strait Shipping.

A council officer said the activity was within the port zone and was permitted. It required a resource consent because of the amount of earth being moved from the yard site.

However, he expected the consent to be approved after a construction management plan had been finalised.

Port company chief executive Ian McNabb said that once the consent was granted, construction would be underway quickly. He hoped it would be completed in time for the new shipping season, from November.

"It's going to be pretty tight."

He confirmed the marshalling yard was the first of the port company's planned redevelopment, but cautioned it would be several years before the redevelopment was really under way.

"There's not going to be a eureka moment of the $100 million redevelopment.

"It's going to be staged over a period of years. BlueBridge is obviously a start."

The next trigger would be the renegotiation of contracts with both ferry companies, particularly KiwiRail's Interislander, McNabb said.

Any replacement ferry terminal would depend on what ships the companies intended to use, which would be discussed during the negotiations.

He said moving the flow of cars and people off the ferry and up Auckland St, closer to Picton township, rather than up Dublin St and out onto State Highway 1 and away was a good idea.

"It is one of the many things we are looking at."

However such a change, which might encourage more people coming off the ferry to stop in Picton was "simple to say, but "a bit harder to get right", he said.

There could be downstream effects, but the port company was talking with Marlborough Roads and the Marlborough District Council about it.

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- The Marlborough Express

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