Thursday, May 23, 2024

Cambridge bridge location diverted

Waipā District Council has taken the potential location for a third bridge in Cambridge off the table and extended the timeframe for people to give feedback.

The decision was made following a discussion with the Mayor and Councillors last week.

The Council says the decision earlier last month to identify a ‘zone’ for a potential future bridge as part of the council’s Cambridge Connections project was met with anger and angst by residents and property owners in the proposed ‘blue’ zone.

Mayor, Susan O’Regan said while there is no doubt that another bridge will be needed in Cambridge in the longer term, elected members agreed the time is not right to pin down a location.

“We’ve heard their concerns and understood them,” the Mayor said.

“On reflection, a lot more work has to be done on a proposed bridge location. We will proceed with a business case for the funding of more detailed investigations, but we will not be promoting a future bridge location at this point in time.

“I appreciate that this has been a very stressful time for those people in the affected zone, and I hope this decision, and the fact that all potential river crossing options will be back on the table in the future, goes someway to alleviating their concerns.

“Equally, to those people wanting a third bridge, we have heard your concerns too. We will still proceed with developing plans but will do so with a view to understanding all our options with more evidence to help guide us.”

The Cambridge Connections project focuses on all components of Cambridge’s transport network, including its river crossings. The project considers how to reduce traffic demand, provide transport alternatives, and maximise use of existing infrastructure.

Council has extended the feedback timeframe to 5pm on Friday, May 24.

“We still want people to have their say on other measures to help address traffic network issues now and into the future, but the route cannot be determined until more work has been done and that will be contingent on funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi and funding being allocated in a future Long Term Plan,” said Mayor O’Regan.

Council says the next steps will be to:

  • Complete the initial feedback phase;
  • Analyse the feedback and close the loop with the community;
  • Prepare the funding business case to submit to the New Zealand Transport Agency Waka Kotahi;
  • Wait for the decision on whether or not the business case is endorsed;
  • If funding is received, undertake consultation with the community on funding further investigation as part of a future Long Term Plan;
  • A location will not be decided until after the investigations are complete.
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