Dashwood Pass upgrade running on track
The $6.4 million upgrade work being carried out on the Dashwood Pass is running to schedule, and is expected to be completed by Easter next year.
Marlborough Roads manager Frank Porter said the work on State Highway 1, south of Blenheim, was going well.
However, the proposed replacement Grove Rd bridge across the Opawa River was still in its very early stages, Porter said.
No design work had still not started.
"The first thing we need to do is review all of the literature we have. Some of that may be old, so it will need to be updated," he said.
No timeframes have been set down for the project, which was given the green light after Prime Minister John Key announced in late June that $212 million from the Future Investment Fund would be spent on a package of 14 regionally important state highway projects. Part of this was an extra $115m to fund six projects, including bridges for SH1 across the Opawa and Wairau rivers.
"The idea is to have two single-lane bridges, with traffic going south on the current bridge," Porter said.
The Dashwood Pass work was being carried out to eliminate the tight curves in the road and would result in two kilometres of new, straighter road.
It also involved a new rail tunnel, which was completed a week ahead of schedule in May.
Porter was aware of the poor state of sections of Weld Pass, he said.
While an upgrade would be needed in the long-term, the ongoing plan was to carry out repairs when needed.
The Marlborough Express