The long-awaited Kurow bridges replacement project will be confirmed in the Canterbury region's transport plan on Monday – and it has high priority.
The Canterbury Regional Transport Committee, part of Environment Canterbury, will adopt the 10-year regional transport plan and the $20 million project will be number seven on its list of things to do.
The dilapidated bridges across the Waitaki River on State Highway 82, that are more than 130 years old, have been plagued by closures in recent years.
A petition to Transport Minister Steven Joyce last year lobbied the Government for action.
Funding for the project is yet to be confirmed by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), but it is expected to be given the go-ahead in the second half of this year. The project rates top of the list in the programme for "activities of inter-regional significance" as a key link between Canterbury and Otago.
Support for the Kurow bridges replacement project made up more than half the submissions to the plan.
It received 30 submissions, 19 of which supported the replacement project.
Most called for the project to be given higher priority and for funding to be made available immediately.
South Canterbury Federated Farmers transport committee chairman Jeremy Talbot requested an inquiry into why the NZTA had "not seen fit" to replace the bridges.
No changes were made to the bridges' priority or to the project in the final programme. "The Waitaki bridges is the only new project to start in New Zealand Transport Agency's (NZTA) large project category nationwide so it is a high priority for NZTA," it read.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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