18 Dec 2008

Kerikeri bridge price absurd, says mayor

5:41 pm on 18 December 2008

Far North mayor Wayne Brown is determined to cut the cost of a new footbridge planned for Stone Store basin to replace a demolished road bridge.

Visitors have no way of crossing the Kerikeri river at the historic site, apart from wading, since the road bridge was demolished in June.

Gordon Hewston of the Historic Places Trust said the delay is frustrating, as the trust has done everything it can to help the council get the new bridge built.

He said the footbridge must be one befitting a future world heritage site, so cannot be ugly or obtrusive.

The bridge design approved by the Trust would have cost $3 million, a price Mr Brown, himself an engineer, described as absurd.

Mr Brown said the best option the council has considered comes in at $1.3 million.

He believes the bridge could be built for $800,000 and has asked the contractors to come back with a better price.