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Council's Leadership Applauded As $150M Hamilton Project Moves To Next Steps

A commitment to maintaining momentum and supporting a post-COVID-19 local and regional economic recovery has seen Hamilton City Council enter the final procurement phase of a $150M milestone project.

The NZ Construction Sector Accord has congratulated the Council for its leadership as it continues to progress work for a a new bridge over the Waikato river and associated strategic services during the COVID-19 lockdown.

The contract has gone to three shortlisted consortiums for pricing before the end of June, following several months of discussion and detailed evaluation of prospective tenderers. The project is ahead of schedule and the timing will allow the successful tenderer to begin construction in the 2020/21 summer season.

The project is budgeted in the Council’s long-term plan and funded through 51% of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency subsidy, with the remaining costs supported by a 10-year interest-free government loan via the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said despite the COVID-19 lockdown, Hamilton City was committed to “getting on with the job”.

“The last thing I want to see now are planned, budgeted and carefully managed projects go on hold. It’s the last thing this city needs when we are worried about jobs and keeping families secure,” Mayor Southgate says.

“At the time we were planning this, we could never have foreseen the circumstances we face today. But being ready to go earlier than expected is a massive bonus and I want to thank our staff and our partners for that.”

The Council’s Chief Executive Richard Briggs says maintaining momentum on the Peacocke strategic infrastructure programme, which was already six months ahead of schedule, was important, especially now.

“To be able to complete the documentation and processes to go to tender this week really shows the adaptability and focus of the Council’s staff, contractors and our partner agencies in difficult circumstances. We were able to keep this project moving with the support of the three tendering consortiums, who all said they were ready, willing and able to work on their tender documents during lockdown,” Mr Briggs says.

“This commitment means we can make use of the summer construction window, providing job security, new employment opportunities, a local and regional economic boost and ultimately deliver more housing, sooner, for our city.”

The city’s efforts have been applauded by the NZ Construction Sector Accord, a joint commitment from government and industry to work together to create a high performing construction sector.

“The NZ Construction Accord congratulates Hamilton City Council and its continued commitment to these significant construction and services contracts. This is occurring at a time when the construction sector employees and businesses, are under real pressure. This continued leadership makes a difference,” a statement from the Accord said.

The new bridge will connect Hamilton’s transport network to existing and planned roads in the new Peacocke neighbourhood in the city’s south. When complete, Peacocke will be home for around 20,000 new Hamiltonians.

The bridge includes walking and cycling options as well as carrying strategic water and utility services. The bridge connects to Hamilton East and the city’s ring road via a new interchange at Wairere Dr and Cobham Dr which is already under construction.

The bridge will be a significant asset for the city and the wider project includes a massive investment in the environment. More than 135,000 plants and around 1000 trees will be planted, including fruit trees and a grove of heritage flax species to protect the resource for raranga (weaving). Road landscaping and new wetland areas are being aligned to support flightpaths for the endangered long-tailed bat.

In keeping with the city’s vision for Peacocke as an attractive and sustainable community, all new roads have separated cycleways and separate paths for pedestrians, with underpasses or signalised crossings at major intersections.

The bridge and associated works project is expected to be completed in 2023.

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