Dawn Inglis Group Manager Service Delivery, for Waipa District Council presented a summary of the Beca report, along with an overview of the Council's current position on the proposition of a third bridge for Cambridge.
In 2018, Council commissioned independent experts (Beca) to assess the need for a third traffic bridge. The Beca report* found:
Based on a regional traffic model and taking town growth into account, there was no ‘short or medium term need’ for an additional bridge in Cambridge.
A third bridge would not be needed until around 2048
A third bridge (based on 2018 figures) would cost around $65-$70 million.
Recommendation: To make better use of existing spare bridge capacity.
Read the report in full
Dawn further presented the council’s position that they is unlikely to be funding in the Long-Term Plan for a third bridge in Cambridge because:The numbers do not stack up - yet
Building a bridge too early is a poor use of ratepayers’ money.
Building a bridge too early (without a govt. subsidy) is unaffordable.
Designating a route too early can impact on property values and force Council to purchase land.
At this time, building a third bridge is not a priority for the district.
There are potentially alternative options in regards to timing, costs, placement of the bridge and so whilst the conversation has opened, advocacy will follow and more information will be forthcoming.
At the conclusion of the meeting, there were agreed outcomes and these will be forthcoming in the New Year.
In June 2021, the Waipa Long Term Plan will be made public and require the community to give feedback on. A community voice here is essential.
The Chamber will be developing collateral to encourage and create ease around public submission on the topic of the 3rd bridge.
The Cambridge News has the full story in this week’s Cambridge News.