Kawarau Bridge decision near

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Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee yesterday (Sunday) indicated an announcement on the contentious State Highway 6 Kawarau Bridge at Frankton could be close.

At the Mainland Conference 2014 in Queenstown on Saturday, Clutha-Southland National Party candidate Todd Barclay made a figurative reference to the dilapidated bridge.

“I want to build a strong bridge between Queenstown and the rest of the electorate,” Barclay says, drawing laughter and applause.

Yesterday, Brownlee says he knows the bridge “between Queenstown and Dipton” is extremely close to Barclay’s heart and he can look forward to “a reasonable announcement coming in the next couple of months”.

Brownlee later says he will not elaborate other than to say he had been “under lobby previously from Bill English and that’s being continued by Todd”.

Last year, independent commissioners recommended the Queenstown Lakes District Council approve the construction of a two-lane, $18 million bridge at Kawarau Falls. However, a new bridge was not expected until after 2016.

It was reported last month nearly half a million dollars had been spent repairing the bridge in the past 10 years, most of it on the running boards.

– Otago Daily Times