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$25m proposed Viaduct bridge not needed

$25m proposed Viaduct bridge not needed

Auckland Councillor for Orakei, Cameron Brewer, says it’s totally unacceptable that the popular Te Wero drawbridge is set for scrap heap from next year to be replaced with a shiny new $25m bridge fit for future light rail no less.

In the CCO Governance and Monitoring Committee Mr Brewer challenged Waterfront Auckland over their latest demand for a new $25m bridge in the Viaduct to replace the 1000-day-old draw-bridge which cost ratepayers $3.7m in 2011.

“This unbelievable proposal needs some sunlight for ratepayers to assess and so I was pleased to provide it.

“The draw-bridge is only three years old, is very popular, and has a lot of life ahead of it. It’s not a priority whatsoever to replace it with a hugely expensive gold-plated bridge, particularly when you consider all the cuts the Mayor’s proposing around the community at the moment.

“Given it’s not a contraction obligation with the adjacent hotel or apartment developers, why on earth are we rushing in to fund replacing the existing bridge from as early as next year? It’s hardly a priority particularly when Waterfront Auckland says it won’t actually be required for a number of years.

“Ratepayers facing huge costs and community cutbacks will be shocked to hear that Waterfront Auckland is now demanding at least $25m for a brand new bridge from July next year. It needs to be canned forthwith.

“Five years ago there were grand plans for a massive signature bridge, but fortunately they were scaled down 10-fold to the current draw-bridge. A gold-plated bridge was deemed not necessary then, and should again be rejected if we’re serious about saving ratepayers money.

“What’s also worrying is that this new bridge will be able to take light rail, and that’s not necessarily the failed trams. With this in mind ratepayers also need to aware that a modern light rail system is also in Waterfront Auckland’s thinking.

“We continue to spend far too much ratepayers money down there gold-plating and beautifying. We’ve got the bones sorted in Wynyard Quarter. It’s now actually time for ratepayers to stand back and for the commercial sector to move in and make their investment.

“People need to have their say on the Mayor’s 10-year budget and priorities when the draft Long Term Plan is out for public submissions early next year,” says Mr Brewer.


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