A total of 173 responses were received from individuals and stakeholders during the engagement period. The public was asked to provide feedback on four separate questions.
The main finding is that approximately 70% of all submitters favour a bypass to a new bridge or a bypass first, then a new bridge. The remaining 30% of submitters generally support the preferred option. These submitters also prefer the idea of retaining the existing historic Opawa Bridge for pedestrians and cyclists and would like a safe route from one side of State Highway 1 to the other.
The Key Stakeholders who made written submissions and three Iwi also support the preferred option of retaining the existing bridge.
The issue of the Blenheim bypass does not change the need to replace the Opawa Bridge. It remains a future option and will be considered, along with other State Highway corridor improvements, as part of the State Highway 1 Picton to Christchurch investigation.
The design of the bridge
Question 2 on the feedback form asked people to comment on what elements they would like to see reflected in the new bridge structure or its design and 97 submitters answered it. Common themes are:
- Maintain character of old bridge – 14 comments
- Modern, simple and elegant design, nothing fancy for new bridge – 13 comments
- Wide enough for heavy vehicles to pass – 11 comments.
- Provision for cyclists and a safe means of crossing SH1 for pedestrians and cyclists (such as an underpass) – 6 comments
- Functional and safe – 5 comments
- Good visibility with low side walls – 4 comments
The general opinion is that the new bridge should be simple, cost effective, have low sides, maintain the character of existing bridge, and be functional and safe. Commenters asked that the old bridge is retained and used for cyclists and pedestrians.