Hamilton advocates for the inclusion of the cycling river bridge in government infrastructure funding

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An impression of what the planned pedestrian and cycle bridge could look like. Image / Brian Squair from Chow: Hill Architects

Hamilton City Council is awaiting a response on a pre-Christmas wish sent to central government that could see a pedestrian and bicycle bridge project over the Waikato River in the CBD take shape sooner than expected.

The council’s wish for the bridge was part of a $ 333.5 million proposal to the government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF) that could see the pedestrian and bicycle bridge receive a $ 29 million boost. dollars if successful.

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The fund helps pay for basic infrastructure so more housing can be built faster, to tackle the national housing crisis, and has $ 3.8 billion available.

The $ 36 million pedestrian and bicycle bridge project and associated connections would link Hamilton East Memorial Park to the CBD next to the site where the new Waikato Regional Theater is being built.

The new bridge plays a key role in the city’s proposal to the IAF. There are plans to connect the downtown area with surrounding neighborhoods and make it easier for people to travel around Hamilton for work and play.

Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor says he hopes to secure funding from the IAF. “We have to have the bridge if we want to build more houses … it is a vital part for the city [and] it provides a brilliant link to Hamilton East.

He says the bridge was “his baby” and has been planned for about 30 years. “I wrote a story about it when it first appeared. It got me into journalism school, so this project is very close to my heart and I’m glad it was. included in the proposal to the IAF. “

Hamilton Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor.  Photo / Supplied
Hamilton Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor. Photo / Supplied

The Council has already committed $ 11 million to the bridge project. Last month, the city council’s infrastructure operations committee agreed to spend $ 300,000 to fully fund a business case for the bridge in an effort to secure financial support from transport agency Waka Kotahi NZ.

Taylor says he had a meeting with Rotary and the club was okay with bridge as well. “We [initially] thought we could get the bridge for the [club’s] 100th anniversary in 2024. We might not get it exactly on time, but what a great way to celebrate [the centenary]. “

Other projects under the council’s IAF proposal include $ 120 million for bulk water pipes and a reservoir and booster pump station, $ 104 million for wastewater upgrades , $ 10 million for the purchase of a storm water treatment device and an additional $ 50 million for improved transportation.

The HCC’s offering is supported by $ 129.3 million in council co-financing and approximately $ 100 million in direct investment in development community infrastructure.

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate.  Photo / Hamilton City Council
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate. Photo / Hamilton City Council

Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate said Hamilton is a high growth city and the offer meets the government’s directive to allow greater height and denser housing near jobs and community services.

“We are all on the same page. We all want more housing, faster, in our city, but we cannot have more housing without more suitable infrastructure. So we need the government to step up. and show us the money to make it happen.

“Right now there is a huge gap between what we need to develop and what our taxpayers can afford. our region.”

Along with the central city’s proposal, HCC also approved a separate bid for Rototuna North, asking for $ 20.8 million for the Borman Rd extension and sewage and storm water services.

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