Bridge builder advocates fix-up

"Not much wrong" . . . Mosgiel resident Cam Shaw believes the bridge he built over the Silver Stream in 1974 could be repaired. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

The man who built a footbridge in East Taieri believes it could be easily fixed.

Earlier this month, The Star reported the Dunedin City Council plans to remove a bridge across the Silver Stream in Gladfield Rd.

Residents are upset about the lack of consultation and say the bridge is well-used by the community.

Cam Shaw, of Mosgiel, built the bridge for the Otago Catchment Board in 1974 through his business Momona Engineering Ltd.

He believed that although the bridge looked “pretty sad”, it was structurally strong and any necessary repairs could be done quite easily.

The bridge was damaged when heavy rain in 2017 caused the stream to rise and a tree branch to crash into it.

Since then, it had remained open and was used by pedestrians and cyclists.

Mr Shaw said fixing the bridge would not be a major job. In fact, he could straighten it quite easily, he said.

“There’s not much wrong with it.”

The bridge had not been looked after well since it was built, but it was never going to fall down.

He was unsure why the city council wanted to take it down.

“If it was worth building then it’s worth retaining it now.”

He questioned who owned the bridge, since the catchment board amalgamated with other boards and councils to form the Otago Regional Council in 1989.

Dunedin City Council transport group manager Jeanine Benson said the bridge was registered as a city council asset in 2006.

“The bridge is believed to have transferred into DCC ownership as a result of changes to other local government bodies decades ago.”

A regional council spokesman confirmed the bridge belonged to the city council.

Council staff met residents and landowners, including Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board deputy chairman Dean McAlwee, at the bridge yesterday.

Mr McAlwee said the meeting was positive and he hoped a plan would be put in place before final decisions were made.

Ms Benson is set to speak at the community board meeting next week.