Bridge or no bridge

After 4 weeks, 79 people voted on if they would spend $34 million on another bridge to cross the harbour of Whangarei. 76% voted against spending $34 million.

There has been various comments made on Facebook, so I thought I'd summaries some of the facts and get some comments back from you on them.

1/ The proposed additional Harbour crossing is planned to go across the harbour from Pohe Island to Port Road.

2/ The Construction of the bridge and roundabouts will cost $34million, this does not include the extra work required on Riverside road, nor does it include the extra traffic lights that will be installed near the town basin.

3/ There has been very little discussion with the public over the harbour crossing.  If you do not want another harbour crossing right now, then you need to speak up.

4/ The public have been lead to believe that the crossing will take less than 1 year to construct.  This is not true; due to consolidation of soils and the time that it takes for concrete to cure the construction project will take a minimum of 2 years, as long as there is no delays.

5/ Of the proposed $34million that is for the construction of the bridge, only 42.6% will be funded by the government, not the usual 60%.  Total funded $14.5 million.  This is because the project doe not reach the NZTA standards of having a benefit to cost ratio of greater than 4.

6/ The money been given by the government will not be available again.  This again is untrue, the money has been promised and has been put aside for Whangarei when it comes time to build the project.

7/ The project can't be postponed to another date, as too much money has been spent already and the project is already been tendered out.  This again is not true, before anybody should make a large investment shouldn't they be certain that the project is feasible, and any project can be postponed even after the contract is let, but there will be fees that will need to be paid.

8/ There were no other options available for the city at the time, to relieve the traffic issues.  This again is not true.  I produced a design that would solve Whangarei's traffic issues and could be constructed in under 4 months for only $4million dollars: refer to

9/ There are many other engineering issues that can be brought up about the crossing, just like is the crossing truly solving the traffic issues of Whangarei... etc

So can Whangarei afford another Harbour crossing at this time?  If my survey is anything to go by the answer is no!  The public need the traffic congestion solved but and are not wanting to spend too much.  They do want the crossing to happen at some stage, but want it to be fully investigated and re-assured that it will go in the right location... and at this stage the public are not convinced.


My points:
1. We can't afford it. The mayor set the debt at $130 million. It's already $150 million and set to spend at least another $20 million.
2. There are options. Vince has presented one. None were seriously considered as any sort of public consultation.
3. There has been ZERO public consultation. The LTCCP simply said that council intended to build a bridge - no detail of traffic flows alternatives nothing! If it is such a crash hot idea why keep the public in the dark? The whole thing has been one public relations exercise with a paucity of real information.
Why does this not surprise me?