Elevated ford could replace footbridge

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Option being eyed . . . Dunedin City Council staff are looking into lifting the ford in the Silver Stream as an alternative to a footbridge. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

An elevated ford could replace a “structurally unsound” footbridge in East Taieri.

The Dunedin City Council closed a bridge over the Silver Stream near Gladfield Rd last month, upsetting residents who said it was well used by the community.

Dunedin City Council transport group manager Jeanine Benson told the Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board at its meeting last week staff were looking at alternatives.

An option was to raise the ford in the stream and install some larger pipes to prevent it from flooding, she said.

Staff were working with the Otago Regional Council.

Raising the ford would be cheaper than replacing the bridge and would allow people to walk or drive across the stream, Ms Benson said.

Board member Brian Peat asked if the bridge was repairable.

Ms Benson said while that was possible it was a “case of time and money”.

“I wouldn’t muck around repairing it,” she said.

Board deputy chairman Dean McAlwee said he was happy “as long as we’re moving forward and we get an outcome that’s as good as we can for everyone”.

Ms Benson said the council respected the feedback it had received about the bridge being part of an important cycle route.

She and other council staff met Mr McAlwee, landowners and residents at the bridge last week.