Fletcher Tabuteau, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development
The construction of a second bridge across the Ashburton River is one step closer as a result of a $94,000 investment from the Provincial Growth Fund, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today.
The funding will support a detailed business case (DBC) for the project.
“This would be a significant project for the Ashburton District and the wider Canterbury region, with the construction of a second bridge long seen to be a critical enabler for future economic growth,” says Fletcher Tabuteau.
“The current bridge is a pinch-point for traffic travelling through Ashburton on SH1. Local people and businesses regularly experience the effects of standstill congestion through the township.
“This is a limiting factor for local business, particularly in the growing Ashburton District which is highly orientated towards producing export goods and requires strong and reliable transport links to get goods to market.
A second bridge across the Ashburton River is estimated to cost $30 million and could reduce SH1 peak time traffic by 40 per cent.
“The completion of a detailed business case will determine if construction of a second bridge is a viable and sensible investment to address traffic congestion, accessibility for the local community, a safer route for pedestrians and cyclists and a more resilient network.
“Today’s announcement reflects the strength of the PGF to accelerate local priorities – in this case Ashburton’s second bridge, which has been identified as an important piece of infrastructure to support economic growth,” says Fletcher Tabuteau.
“Funding for this detailed business case is one step in the right direction as we look to support infrastructure as a pillar of doing business, improving connectivity and growing our local economy,” says Jo Luxton, Labour Party List MP based in Rangitata.