Clarence Valley Access

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At its meeting on 28 August 2019 Council considered the different options to restore access to the Clarence Valley, as a result of losing the Glen Alton bridge in the 2016 earthquake. Council has identified a new Bailey bridge and road connections downstream of the previous bridge as its current preferred option for further work and investigation. The bridge would be located at the present end of the Clarence Valley Road at the toe of Jacob Hill, with a new Bailey bridge crossing the main active channel of the Clarence River. A new road and permanent engineered ford across the old main river channel would link to the south side of the Clarence River. The Bailey bridge option would provide crossing of normal road/highway “Class 1” traffic loads.

The Council will seek NZTA (New Zealand Transport Agency) approval to progress this option and to extend the Agency’s 95% funding assistance to complete the project. The indicative capital cost estimate for the current preferred option is $9.8m.  The Council’s preference for this option is preliminary and will be revisited once the outcome of the funding application to NZTA is known. Any final decisions by Council are likely to be made through the formal public consultation process and adoption of its 2020/2021 Annual Plan in the middle of next year.

In the interim Council will continue to maintain temporary 4wd access to the south bank of the Clarence River via the Southern Access Route from the end of Waipapa Road across the Wharekiri Stream ford. All maintenance work is being undertaken with NZTA’s 95% funding assistance.

A public engagement meeting with Clarence Valley residents and community members will be held in Clarence in late September or early October, as well as a separate meeting with Te Runanga o Kaikōura.


31 August 2019