Peg in the ground for footbridge

MATTHEW LITTLEWOOD
Last updated 05:00 04/05/2012
Footbridge society
SUPPLIED
FIRST STEP: The Footbridge society has had survey pegs installed to establish the position of the planned bridge. Pictured from left are: Steve Hunter, Peter Munro, Chris MacLaren, Anne Braun Elwert, Todd Airey, Margaret Munro, Lyn Martin.

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A stake – or at least a peg – has been put in the ground for the Tekapo footbridge project.

Earlier this week Todd Airey, of Clark Land Surveyors Ltd, installed survey pegs to establish the position of the bridge.

Lake Tekapo Footbridge Society chairman Colin MacLaren said it was a small, but symbolic, advance for the project.

"When you're working on a long-term project such as this, it's hard to keep everyone's nose to the grindstone all the time, but these pegs are actually something quite tangible," he said.

"It means that once construction starts, the builder will know where to begin."

The footbridge will be about 110 metres long and provide an alternate route to join the two sides of the town separated by the lake outlet. Early estimates said it could cost more than $1 million and take five years to complete. The society has already raised more than $120,000 since September 2010.

"We always knew it was going to be a long haul, but we're in talks with a couple of major sponsors. If one of those comes off, it will be huge," Mr MacLaren said.

Environment Canterbury granted the group a non-notified consent for the activity in January, but the blueprint and construction documents were being completed. Once that was done, the group would apply for a building consent with the Mackenzie District Council.

"We've received a lot of support from the council already. Last year, the district committed $25,000 towards the project and a further $75,000 over the following three years. Everyone wants to see this completed, it will just take time," Mr MacLaren said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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