No money, so no bridge upgrade

Last updated 13:00 09/11/2012

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Tasman District's Lakes-Murchison councillor Stuart Bryant is continuing to call for the upgrade of Doctors Creek Bridge, on the southern side of Spooner Range.

Mr Bryant said the bridge and its approaches, which were the scene of a recent truck crash, were out of alignment.

But despite lobbying the New Zealand Transport Agency since 2001 over the need for the upgrade, the project had not made the national priority list, he said.

Tapawera Volunteer Fire Brigade's acting chief fire officer Dean Millar said firefighters attended one or two accidents at the bridge annually.

Nelson branch president of the Road Transport Association Derek Nees supported Mr Bryant's call for an upgrade of that section of road.

"It was in the original plan for the upgrade of Spooner Range and I do not know why it was withdrawn.

"It's a medium-sized project and should have been done years ago," he said.

NZTA's regional operations manager Mark Owen said NZTA has developed a longer-term solution to realign nearly a kilometre of road and improve safety for drivers. The design work has been completed, and necessary property purchased.

"However, the reality is that before construction can begin we need to wait for funding to become available, as it is not within the current list of funded projects."

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- The Nelson Mail

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