Tue, Dec 19, 2023 2:22 PM

Funding details released for fixing Marlborough Sounds roads


Maia Hart

The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi has signalled how much it will fund towards fixing and improving roads in the Marlborough Sounds.

It comes after the NZTA board met last week to consider the Marlborough Sounds Future Access Study business case.

The board has indicated it will fund 71% of the cost of repairs, and 51% towards road improvements, subject to further detailed design work.

The remaining costs would fall on ratepayers.

PHOTO 2: Kenepuru Rd has the largest repair cost out of the Marlborough Sounds roads. Photo: Anthony Phelps/Stuff

The Marlborough District Council finalised its business case to put to NZTA in October.

That case outlined the council’s “emerging preferred options” for restoring access and strengthening some roads – as part of its Marlborough Sounds Future Access Study, prepared by engineering firm Stantec.

It indicated the estimated road repair bill following flooding in July 2021 and August 2022 had jumped $74 million more than first proposed, to $234m.

Included in those costs was $146m required for road repairs, $48m for long term road resilience improvements and $40m for marine infrastructure adaptation improvements.

The cost had landed above the initial estimate, after proposed “levels of service” were raised for Moetapu Bay and Kenepuru Rd from Portage, to include more targeted repairs to “improve resilience”.

Marlborough mayor Nadine Taylor said the indicative decision was a “big step forward”.

“The people of Marlborough will be relieved to hear the Government is supporting our business case and funding a significant proportion of the repairs and improvements.”

She said ratepayers would need to consider who pays for what through the long term plan process next year.

“As I’ve always said, this is something our whole community - all of Marlborough - will have to consider.

“This includes the proposed marine infrastructure improvements which are also part of the long term plan funded by the council.

“Further discussions will be held with the Government on future marine resilience funding prospects.”

Taylor said it paved the way for the repair programme to get under way, as soon as the local share of funding was confirmed in mid-2024, and designs finalised.

“In the meantime, this is really good news and just in time for Christmas.”

The largest proportion of the repair programme is for the Kenepuru, at $94m, followed by Te Aumiti/French Pass at $26m, Queen Charlotte Drive at $14m, Te Whanganui/Port Underwood $11m and Te Hoiere/Pelorus $2m.

Funding of $48m for longer term improvements included; Te Aumiti/French Pass ($15m), Kenepuru ($12m), Te Whanganui/Port Underwood ($8m), Queen Charlotte Drive ($6m), and Te Hoiere/Pelorus ($4m).

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