Bypass option looked at in detail, says NZTA

GRANT BRYANT IN QUEENSTOWN
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013

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"Not just cursory consideration" was given to building a bypass to link up with the Eastern Arterial road from a new Kawarau Falls bridge, the New Zealand Transport Agency says.

Yesterday, during the second day of a hearing held to secure a Notice of Requirement for land and resources needed to replace the 86-year-old single-lane bridge currently serving as Queenstown's main southern entrance, the agency's consulting engineer, Dean Coutts said the bypass option had been looked into "in a fair degree of detail".

Queenstown property developer Alastair Porter is spearheading the call for a bypass to run from Robertson St on the Queenstown side of the bridge which would link up with Hawthorne Drive.

This would create a link to the Eastern Access road, a road that would link Remarkables Park with the Frankton Flats via a road skirting Queenstown Airport's runway extension area.

However, noise and disturbance to Robertson St residents if the bypass was to be built, as well as widening the bridge and State Highway 6 on the Frankton approach to the bridge were all cumulative reasons not to build the bypass, Mr Coutts said.

"Cost is definitely a component in all of this, but not the only one, as an intersection would also pose significant technical challenges," he said.

Creating an intersection would also create the need for a "land take" - the annexation of properties needed to create the intersection.

While Mr Coutts was in favour of "future proofing" significant infrastructure investments, he also cautioned against attempted future proofing that did not work as planned.

Future proofing was the exact thrust of Mr Porter's intersection proposal, saying that Queenstown's growth rate, which was much higher than the national average needed to be taken into account, especially when consideration was given to Remarkables Park and the Frankton Flats area, which combined were likely to become the highest urban grown areas in Queenstown.

The hearing will continue today, with other parties likely to voice their support for the Robertson St intersection.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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