Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Extra $5.5m needed for Christchurch road extension

Christchurch City Council will this week consider a report that recommends an additional $5.5 million be put toward the city’s Halswell Junction Road extension project.

Council say the original works bill has blown out by more than $5 million, due largely to an increase in costs involved with the rail infrastructure work.

On Thursday (9 June), Council will consider a report that recommends $5.5 million be included in the FY24 for the project.

“The project is at a stage where it cannot proceed further without additional budget of $5.5 million being allocated,” the report states.

KiwiRail originally estimated the work, which involves relocating track and sidings, as well as building a new crossing and signals, would cost about $6.9 million.

However, it has advised the Council that the rail infrastructure work is likely to cost $11.1 million – $4.2 million more than expected.

At the same time there has been a $1.3 million increase in the estimated cost of the roading component of the project, meaning there is an overall budget shortfall of $5.5 million.

The report states that if additional funding is allocated, the Council’s component can then be tendered and KiwiRail can continue with their part of the works. That will allow construction of the new link road to be completed by June 2023.

It said there was strong support for the project to proceed from both the business community and the community board.

“As well as improvements to the freight network, the project will provide significant amenity and safety improvements for all road users and will remove large vehicles from the existing residential section of Halswell Road between Foremans Road and Waterloo Road.”

Christchurch City Council committed to building the new link road from Halswell Junction Road at Foremans Road to Waterloo Road to improve safety and freight network connections.

The new road will cross over railway lines, with the Council working with KiwiRail on how to integrate it with the rail infrastructure.

The design work is taking much longer than anticipated because of the complexity of the design and a shortage of experienced staff at KiwiRail, but some of the work required has begun, Council said in a statement.

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