Chalmers Avenue re-affirmed as preferred location for second bridge

Councillors have voted to progress a business case to support a second urban bridge across the Ashburton River off Chalmers Avenue.

Ashburton District councillors have voted to progress investment and detailed design for a second bridge off Chalmers Avenue.

A 183 page indicative business case compiled for Ashburton District Council (ADC) by consultants Stantec was discussed at today’s council meeting.

The report re-affirmed Chalmers Avenue as a technically preferred site for a second bridge, ahead of a duplicate State Highway 1 bridge off West Street.

Stantec transport engineer Chris Rossiter told councillors there was ‘‘fine line’’ between the two sites, but ultimately Chalmers Avenue offered the most benefits.

The Chalmers Avenue bridge would help reduce traffic on the highway through Ashburton and make it safer for local road users, as well as support future growth at Lake Hood and Tinwald east, he said.

All but councillor Diane Rawlinson voted to support a recommendation that the indicative business case, strategic case and options assessment be forwarded to NZTA to advance to the next stage of the business case.

Council hopes to attract 80 per cent funding from Government for the $35 million project, but currently NZTA will only fund 50 per cent.

Full story and the reaction of councillors to the decision in next week’s Ashburton Courier.