Following revised construction estimates, Palmerston North City Council has engaged with funding partners who are supportive of the project proceeding based on a cost of $14.6m for the whole project.
The final estimate is $4.7m more than originally budgeted. The majority of the increase in costs ($3.7m) relate to the 195m long, 4.2m wide pedestrian/cycle bridge over the Manawatu River, opposite Ruha St.
After a formal tender process which involved the engagement of two companies, Concrete Structures (NZ) Ltd of Rotorua was awarded the contract for construction of the bridge with their tender price of $10.6m (excl GST).
As part of the tender process, Concrete Structures presented modifications to the original design with a cost savings of $1.5m. No changes are being made to the aesthetic value of the original design or the long-term life of the bridge.
“Due to the changes to the design, the announcement of the successful tenderer was delayed until Council was confident Concrete Structures was well advanced with the final detailed design process,” says Ray Swadel, PNCC General Manager City Networks. “The changes involve slight modifications to the steel supports for the bridge deck and changes to the foundations in the river bed.”
On 8 January, Concrete Structures will commence drilling in the Manawatu River, subject to approval from Horizons for further testing to confirm the foundation design. Drilling is expected to take two weeks. The contractor will soon be engaging with the community on its work programme. Construction of the bridge is expected to start on the Massey side of the river in mid-late February.
“We are delighted that this significant project for our city is to go ahead,” says Swadel. “Tenders will soon be called for Stage 2 of the pathway from the Turitea Stream to Kahuterawa Stream. Unfortunately, Stage I, the existing pathway from Fitzherbert Bridge to Turitea Stream will have to be closed during some of the construction period for safety reasons. We will review the period it is closed as work advances.”
Progress is being made in finalising the design of the remaining pathway sections to Bells Road at Linton including a bridge across the Kahuterawa Stream, and the link to Massey and the Fitzherbert Science Centres (Stages 3 and 4). Tenders will then be called for these remaining sections of the project.
Powerco is contributing $500,000 to the full project with NZTA funding $3m through the Urban Cycleway Programme (UCP). The remainder of the cost is split 51% from the National Land Transport Fund administered by NZTA – and 49% from Palmerston North City Council funding the remaining cost.
The completion date for all four stages of the project is April 2019.