The underpass is needed to allow the Railway Reserve to continue under the soon-to-be-developed developed access road. Photo: File.

Council to pay for underpass


Nelson City Council will foot the bill for an underpass for the Railway Reserve, which is required for the new access road from the $125 million Coastal Views Lifestyle Development.

At the council’s infrastructure committee meeting last week, there was a request for additional funding of $89,000 to go towards the underpass.

Although the developer is paying for the design and construction of the access road and associated traffic lights, a condition of the consent is that council are responsible for the underpass.

The total cost of the underpass project was estimated in council’s quarterly report to be $519,000 including a 20 per cent contingency fund, exceeding the $430,000 allocated.

The funding was under review with NZTA, but it was expected that half would be covered by them.

Councillor Matt Lawrey questioned the expenditure.

“I’m curious, how come [the developers] are paying for the traffic lights, but they are not paying for the changes necessary for the Railway Reserve to continue to be a place for people on bicycle and on foot.”

Transport manager Marg Parfitt explained the project was “historic” with council agreeing to pay for any crossing point back in the early 2000s in order to preserve any future southern arterial corridor – aka, the Southern Link.

The original consent for the subdivision had the road coming down closer to Beatson Rd and did not cross the Railway Reserve, but added an “potential impairment” to any future corridor.

“An agreement was reached that the access road would come out onto Waimea Rd which reserved the future arterial corridor, and in that agreement, council would pay for the crossing point,” said Marg.

Work on the access road is already underway and the overall intersection upgrade, including the traffic signals, is expected to be completed by June 2020.