No replacement for Bradshaws Bridge

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 19/02/2014
Bradshaw's Bridge
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ
GONE FOREVER: Bradshaw's Bridge, which was swept away in a flood, won't be replaced.

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There is no future for Bradshaws Bridge over the lower Waihao River, with Waimate district councillors voting unanimously against a replacement.

After extensive flooding in August 2012 the bill for repairs came to $268,000. Then in June last year torrential downpours caused more damage and washed out the bridge. The cleanup bill for bridges, fords and roads in the district was estimated at $267,000.

Waimate roading manager Rob Moffat said there was virtually no prospect of receiving NZTA funding for a replacement because of the policy for uneconomic bridges, assessment profile and the current available funding for roading.

"If the bridge was to be replaced or an alternative constructed, it would be at a council cost."

Waimate councillor Peter McIlraith said a cost analysis showed it would equate to a $400 toll per vehicle that crossed the bridge. The council had considered a low-cost alternative for Bradshaws Bridge, with an estimated $5000 to complete a preliminary report.

Mr Moffat said the council would look at possible access across the river for farmers when the water level was low.

Deputy Mayor Sharyn Cain said it was important for affected parties to be provided with the information and be able to question it. A consultant's report showed it would cost between $600,000 and $2.5 million for replacement options.

In 2010, the bridge collapsed during flooding and the council agreed in May that year to put aside $150,000 for repairs after a $2 million replacement was ruled out. The bridge was reopened in July.

Residents had voted for a step-by-step time frame and immediate consultation, but an apparent lack of response to a survey sent to residents had slowed the process, council chief executive Tony Alden said at the time.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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