The Transport Agency has released the latest modelling assessment for the Kawarau Falls replacement bridge.
This assessment is now available on the project website http://www.nzta.govt.nz/network/projects/sh6-kawarau-falls-bridge-replacement/index.html(external link)
Ian Duncan Transport Agency Southern Business Unit Manager (Acting) says at the meeting we confirmed, that the updated modelling for the new bridge requested by the QLDC, showed no reason to pause the process to build the new bridge at the designated site.
Mr Duncan explained the need for a new replacement bridge at this designated site was initially identified in the joint 2007 Wakatipu Transportation Strategy (WTS), and is needed now to help address capacity, efficiency and resilience issues at the existing single lane bridge. The Boyd Road alignment was flagged in the strategy as a long term measure to address future traffic demand in the Wakatipu Basin.
The new replacement Bridge at the designated site is required for the highway network to provide a more efficient level of service for road users than offered by the current single lane bridge, which also has resilience issues. If the existing single lane bridge was damaged or blocked and couldn’t be used the southern highway access to the Wakatipu Basin would be severed and road users left facing very long detours.
This replacement bridge is part of a package of solutions to address rapidly increasing traffic volumes in and around the Wakatipu Basin. We are also working with the Queenstown Lakes District Council to look at ways to improve traffic flows at the BP intersection (SH6 and SH6A) and are aiming to have some options on the table before the end of the year.
The bringing forward the construction of the new replacement bridge as part of an accelerated regional highways packaged announced by the Government in 2014, is recognition of the increased in growth of the wider Queenstown area and the need to advance some key transport network improvements. The funding for this project isn’t transferable to another project or option.
We acknowledge that a second river crossing needs careful consideration as part of the future planning for the Frankton flats area. The Transport Agency is committed to working with the Queenstown Lakes District Council, to developing a future road network that meets the needs of the Wakatipu Basin as growth occurs in this area