17 Mar 2010

New bridge planned for Ashburton

8:58 am on 17 March 2010

Ashburton District Council has announced its preferrred route for a new bridge to span the mid-Canterbury town's river and ease congested traffic on State Highway 1.

The council's favoured option for a new bridge links Grove St on the south side of Ashburton with Chalmers Ave on the north - a system that would take traffic easily into the town without entering the highway traffic flow.

The council says its ratepayers will carry much of the cost of the new bridge because its roading study has found locals are the biggest road users.

However former mayor Murray Anderson says that is nonsensical as it is a state highway and the council should make the Transport Agency pay.

Some residents of Grove St say the bridge should go somewhere else. They've organised a meeting for Thursday night to discuss the council's plan, of which most were notified by letter over the weekend.

Ashburton real estate agent Jill Quaid says the value of properties in the area will drop by 10%, as few people would be happy to buy a house on a main thoroughfare.

But the council says some residents are pleased there'll be a new way to get into the town centre without battling the state highway traffic.