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Construction funding approved for Awatere Bridge

29 July 2005

Construction funding approved for new Awatere Bridge

Transit New Zealand welcomes the announcement by Land Transport New Zealand yesterday that construction funding for a new SH1 Awatere Bridge near Seddon has been approved.

Marlborough Roads Manager Frank Porter said the tender process for the construction of the new bridge can now get underway.

"A call for tenders should be released in the next couple of weeks and all going well, we hope to have a contractor working on site early in 2006. Construction of the new bridge is expected to take around two years to complete."

The Awatere Bridge project involves the replacement of a more than 100-year-old narrow, one-lane bridge that carries both the road and the railway line.

The new bridge will provide a better standard of service to road users, especially heavy vehicle operators, and will be able to take oversized loads that the existing bridge cannot. A northbound passing lane on the Dashwood straight, north of the bridge, and a rail overbridge to the south will also be constructed.

"Once the new bridge and approaches are completed, there will be a safer, more efficient route for motorists travelling between Blenheim and Christchurch," Mr Porter said.

The project is expected to cost around $15.1 million over two years.

The Awatere Bridge project is a major feature of Transit New Zealand's 10-year State Highway Forecast for Nelson/Tasman/Marlborough, released last month. Due for a construction start of 2005/2006, it is listed a year earlier than was previously indicated in the Transit 2004/2005 10-year plan.

Mr Porter said this is a significant milestone in the project's development and Transit and Marlborough Roads are delighted it will be constructed a year earlier than previously indicated.

ENDS


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