Resident urges care in planning bridge

An outspoken Frankton resident yesterday urged the Queenstown Lakes District Council to carefully consider options for a proposed new two-lane bridge over the Kawarau River.

Councillors heard from Bill Falcone regarding plans to build a two-lane bridge at Kawarau Falls to replace the one-way bridge built in 1926.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has estimated the cost at between $5 million and $20m.

Mr Falcone told councillors he felt let down during public hearings to discuss options for the bridge and connecting roads.

Queenstown property developer Alastair Porter has called for a bypass to run from Robertson St in Frankton but Mr Falcone said this suggestion could cause difficulties for Frankton residents.

"The new bridge over the Kawarau River is going to be with this community for the next 100 years. We owe it to future generations to get this right, but at the recent hearing for the new bridge . . . I have never felt more let down by my council."

An agency report said a "low" approach to the new bridge would be able to connect to a bypass in Robertson St but Mr Falcone said this was would mean driveways would be metres above the road.

"The only exceptions for borrowing are for infrastructure expenditures where the future generations will reap the benefit of the expense, and I commend this mayor and council on their efforts to curb spending and repay debt.

"Please give this project the attention, time and money that it warrants."

Mayor Vanessa van Uden said the council would consider the submission as part of the annual plan process later this year.

The Southland Times