Waka Kotahi NZTA funding allocation 2021/24
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) have confirmed Council’s local road budget for the next three years (2021/24) including funding for the replacement of the Ruapehu Rd and Mangateitei Rd rail over-bridges between Ohakune and Rangataua.
Mayor Cameron said that confirmation of the funding for replacing the Ruapehu Rd and Mangateitei Rd rail over-bridges was great news and would be well received by local growers and contractors who have been significantly impacted by the weight restrictions on the existing bridges.
“Council would like to thank Waka Kotahi NZTA for their support of these projects in a period of funding constraint and increased competition from other regional transport demands.
It highlights their careful consideration and understanding of the impacts that the bridge restrictions have been having on the community and wider economy," he said.
“In the case of the Mangateitei Rd bridge these are significant as it is the only option for the local growers, farmers and forestry who rely on it, and supply produce nationwide and for export, including an estimated 20% of New Zealand's carrots and potatoes.
Council budgeted $1.2m (26%) for our local share contribution toward the $4.6m replacement cost for the bridges in our latest 2021/31 Long Term Plan and with confirmation of Waka Kotahi NZTA's co-investment will now be moving as quickly as possible to get the projects underway.
As the Mangateitei Rd bridge does not have an alternative route except over private property this will be the priority bridge for replacement.”
Mayor Cameron noted that Council felt it has done well out of the 2021/24 funding allocation given the moderation indications Waka Kotahi NZTA had been signalling to councils.
"While our approved allocation of $48.3m is less than our original $50.3m application, it is a $1.5m improvement to the $46.8m indicative funding allocation released in May, and a significant 24% increase from the previous three-year allocation.
We feel $48.3m for maintenance and renewal for the next three-years is a reflection of Waka Kotahi NZTA's support of Government's strategic priorities namely safety, better travel options, improved freight connections, and climate change," he said.
"We have received all we applied for toward speed management, the national Road to Zero (road safety) strategy, and for the Ohakune Mountain Road, but only a quarter of what we wanted for minor improvements which was consistent around NZ with this fund being over-subscribed.
The reduced minor improvements budget will affect our ability to proactively address such things as minor alignment or sight improvements on the network that arise from River Valley meetings and sites in need of pavement rehabilitation.
Speed management and Road to Zero work programmes will be identified and discussed with the community in the coming months.
With the well-publicised inflation pressures on construction projects as a result of COVID19 and our Funding Assistance Rating (FAR) dropping from 75% to 74% from next financial year the roading team will be under pressure to maintain level of service and satisfaction in our local road network."