NEWS

03-Jul-14

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Bridges ‘death trap’ — Sabin

by Paul Campbell

Northland MP Mike Sabin says the two one-way river crossings on SH 12 at Matakohe “are a death trap in the Kaipara district”, and he’s holding a public meeting to update locals “on carnage (that) amounts to a social cost of what would be more than $70 million.”

                              

                                        

The single-lane Hardies and Anderson’s bridges were built in the 1930s and have not altered since, with locals from across the district calling for their re-alignment for decades.

 

“I have spent a considerable amount of time researching in detail the concerns raised about these bridges,” Mr Sabin said.

 

“What is clear is that the locals are right to be concerned. They are not only a vital economic route for the highest performing primary goods producer of Northland’s economy — they are a death trap. My inquiries have established that at least 10 people have been killed in crashes at, or leading up to these bridges and many The Matakohe Bridge Concern Committee was founded by a number of locals to campaign for the re-alignment of the bridges and a petition with more than 1500 signatures was handed to Mr Sabin earlier this year.

 

“I have reviewed screeds of economic data, searched archives and records, interviewed locals, and undertaken Official Information Act requests, which have most concerningly, uncovered a horrific legacy of death and carnage dating back to the 1950s.

 

“I recently presented what amounts to a business case for re-alignment to the Northland Road Transport Committee. I am pleased that the Commissioners in Kaipara have supported this by making it clear that this is their number one roading priority and the RTC and NZTA are now committed to a prioritisation process for this project for the next National Land Transport Programme which runs from 2015 — 2018.

There is a long way to go and many more hurdles, but I want to update locals on progress and the process ahead. I welcome all interested to attend the meeting at the Matakohe War Memorial Hall on Monday, July 21, at 6.30pm.