The Gore District Council is aiming to award the contract for construction of a new Pyramid Bridge within the next five months.
This follows funding approval from the New Zealand Transport Agency last month. NZTA will provide a 73.63% subsidy for the project. The remaining cost will be equally funded by the Gore District Council and Southland District Council.
The new single lane bridge will be 4.5m wide, which is wider than a standard single lane bridge.
GDC Transport Manager Peter Standring said tenders for construction of the bridge would be called early next month.
“We anticipate awarding the contract by May, subject to Council approval. The new bridge will take approximately 18 months to build.”
Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks has welcomed the news and acknowledged the level of support the project will receive from NZTA.
“It is great to see progress being made. All parties have been working together for some time to get the best outcome for the community.”
Mr Hicks said the widened single-lane structure will meet the community’s needs now and well into the future.The old Pyramid Bridge, which spanned the Mataura River about 27km north-west of Gore, collapsed in February last year. A 50m section broke away after a build-up of debris, caused by the high water flow following heavy rainfall.
Mr Standring said the new bridge would be situated in almost the same place as the former structure.
“This is a substantial project and there is a process we have to work through,” Mr Standring said.
This has included putting together a detailed business case and funding application, public consultation via the Council’s 10-Year-Plan, and design work for a single and double lane bridge.
Infrastructure General Manager Ramesh Sharma said discussions were held with representatives from Federated Farmers, Rural Contractors and Fonterra at the onset of the project.
“This is a significant investment for NZTA, which requires due process around providing solid supporting evidence.
“We have had only a few residents complain about the lack of a bridge, no-one has complained about the timing or the priority of the process.”
Getting funding approval of up to 73.68% from NZTA was a major achievement for the District, Mr Sharma said.