A new road in Tinwald is proposed for the second bridge site.

Survey work has begun on a new road in Tinwald linking Ashburton’s planned second bridge off Chalmers Avenue.

The work is part of a detailed business case for the second bridge, a draft of which should be finished by July.

It will be used by Ashburton District Council to negotiate funding contributions from Waka Kotahi Transport Agency and government.

The business case sets out reasons why the bridge is needed, what it will look like and how much it will cost.

Waka Kotahi and Te Runanga o Arowhenua are among key partners in the planning so far, along with other key stakeholders.

Ashburton District mayor Neil Brown said the second bridge was important for the resilience of the Ashburton district, as it provided a vital link if the State Highway 1 bridge was closed, as in last year’s flood event.

“It is important to get the detailed business case completed because then we can seek the funding we need and get work started as soon as we can.”

The survey work that started on February 14 is part of the preliminary design work and until mid-March consultants Stantec will be surveying land along the new road alignment from Grahams Road north towards Chalmers Avenue and ending at the Dobson Street/Chalmers Avenue intersection.

The new road runs parallel with Grove Street.

Surveyors will be identifying topographical features as well as locating utilities and services.

Owners of properties along the alignment route have been contacted where surveyors will need access to record ground levels and features, including driveway elevations, fence and hedge locations, and utility connections.

Mr Brown said council had been purchasing sections since the land designation hearing in 2015 and the proposed new road was shown on the District Plan.

“It would provide an alternative connection between Ashburton and Tinwald, improve road safety for all those living on the east side of Tinwald, and provide resilience to the South Island. People will have another way to cross the river, be it in a car, cycling, or on foot.”