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Kopu Bridge

Gary Blake was kind enough to provide the Board with a copy of the 'Expression of Interest' that his group - the 'Save the Kopu Bridge Community Group' have submitted to New Zealand Transport Agency.

Gary makes a number of unsubstantiated claims of support for retention of the existing structure in the Submission, but it is very light on with informatioin about funding same, other than suggesting the establishment of some type of trust to enable it to be appropriately maintained.

It is pointless getting into an argument with these people regarding retention - they are so emotionally committed to the project for 'heritage' reasons. The sources of funding suggested by Gary are nebulous, and certainly unsubstantiated. It all appears 'pie in the sky' to me, but I have stated my position of this in the past in such a manner that I am clearly biased against retention.

What does come clear in Gary's submission is that they will certainly be expecting substantial funding from TCDC should their proposals move forward. I believe that the Group should be told unequivocally before they proceed any further that such funding will not be available, and that if they wish to proceed, they will need to ensure that adequate funding from elsewhere is in place. This must not, and I repeat not, become a burden on TCDC rate-payers. Hauraki have already made it quite clear that they will not participate in any retention proposal, and we should do the same. Unfortunately, all our members are so patently scared of offending any group before the election that such a declaration is unlikely.

The Board 'received' the Report

For your information, the Beca report on the bridge accompanied the Submission.

The cost estimates for retention and removal are as follows:

Option 1 - Operational with full pedestrian and cycle access - $2.335m.

Option 2 - Operational with limited pedestrian and cycle access - $3.160m.

(Ongoing cost estimates were not provided)

Option 3 - Total Demolition -  $2.220m. (less $80k. from sale of scrap steel)

Note - TNZ have stated categorically that they will cover any one of these options, but will not be responsible for any on-going costs of any kind.

What every rate-payer needs to be concerned about is that if Gary and Group are successful in retaining the bridge under whatever guise, who will be responsible  should the proposed Trust fail at some point in the future. Demolition at that point would clearly fall back on our Council alone.




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Reader Comments (2)

In my experience Gary and his nefarious groups have mainly been interested in obtaining funding from any governmental source possible. It would be interesting to go back and investigate Gary's previous groups claims for funding and the outcomes produced from any program for which they have received funding.

October 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Archibald

Originally I thought great idea - save the old Kopu bridge - but now as I sail over the new one at a 100kms -I note I can no longer see the old bridge - [unless I am in the work truck]- which gets me to thinking what is there to save?
Sure salvage the pier and openning apparatus- relocate them so that in future years people will have a history lession on what we all went through year after year in traffic delays and how the swing component allowed vessels to travel on the Waihou.
What to do with the old spans -- barge them to Coromandel and place them at Sugar loaf on new concrete piers so as to provide all tide access for ferries- very easy to do [ only need 3 or 4] - or use them to extend the old Coromandel wharf, or demolish the western side up to the swing span and put floating pontoons on the downstream side [of the remainder] and a vehicle access to allow launching of small boats from there.
What ever decision is made I can live with - but have very serious concerns about on-going maintenance of the old bridge - though half of which is in the Hauraki District Council area - there fore any ideas to save it need to be also agreed upon by them

October 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThamesite

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