Progress on plan to use materials for new bridge

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The Sutton suspension bridge after it collapsed during a flood in July 2017.

A project to reuse materials from a historic bridge to build a new one to extend a cycling track in the area is progressing.

Strath Taieri Community Board chairman Barry Williams, speaking at a board meeting in Middlemarch last month, said material was salvaged from the Sutton suspension bridge, which collapsed during a flood in July 2017.

The salvaged material includes hardwood and schist rock from the 19th-century bridge.

Mr Williams said a project had been proposed to use the material to build a bridge across March Creek to extend the Otago Central Rail Trail so it finished at the Middlemarch Railway Station.

The project was in the design phase and cost estimates were being sought, he said.

– At the meeting, Dunedin City Council 3 waters group manager Tom Dyer told board members a consent for the wastewater treatment plant in Middlemarch was due for renewal in 2021.

The new consent would have stricter conditions, necessitating an upgrade of the oxidation ponds in Garthmyl Rd, near the Middlemarch Golf Course.

The consent investigation would include checking the capacity of creeks in a bid to stop a repeat of the flooding in Middlemarch.

Raw sewage overflowed on to Middlemarch streets during a flood in November last year.

– Mr Williams said it would have been useful if the council had talked to the board before it served notice of its intention to buy the Foulden Maar site near Middlemarch.

Last month Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins said the aim was to return the site to public ownership and prevent any mining taking place.

Mr Williams said he was neither for nor against mining at the site “until we know a lot more information and as a community we should be kept in the loop”.

– Mr Williams asked the council for details on how to get a charger for electric cars installed in Middlemarch.