LocalMatters       

Kowhai Park path budget blows out to nearly a million

Posted at 12:35pm Monday 29 Jun, 2020

A wooden bridge and boardwalk over a floodplain in Kowhai Park have contributed to soaring costs.A wooden bridge and boardwalk over a floodplain in Kowhai Park have contributed to soaring costs.

The estimated cost of building a concrete path from Kowhai Park through to the Warkworth Showgrounds has ballooned from $335,000 to more than $900,000 in the space of a year.

June's Rodney Local Board meeting heard that new estimates done in May put the cost of constructing the shared path at well above the available budget of $630,000 to $925,830.

Council's community services team report said the need to design an elevated 75-metre boardwalk structure and a 10-metre wooden bridge to span floodplain areas had increased the build cost. In addition, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the construction sector was unknown and had been factored into the cost estimate as a contingency.

The budget blowout means that construction will need to be staged over several years, starting with the section from Heritage Lane, off Melwood Drive through to the southern side of the old Atlas site, where a temporary Park and Ride is due to be built by Auckland Transport (AT) using money from the Rodney Local Board transport targeted rate. Stage Two would run from northern edge of the Park and Ride to the Showgrounds, and Stage Three connect the two along the western edge of the Atlas site.

Community facilities head of operations Paul Amaral said after the meeting that buildings at the Atlas site were being demolished at a cost of $208,000, funded by the Board operating expenditure budget.

Although the Park and Ride and footpath construction are separate projects, community services is coordinating work with AT where possible.

The total funding currently available for the path is $630,000, from Council's Growth programme, which would cover detailed design, consenting, project and construction management and construction itself.

Route options analysis, site investigations, design and project management of the path has cost $98,000 to last month.

The original 2017 path design was for a 70-metre suspension bridge, but landowner consent could not be obtained for that, so the much less direct 450-metre concrete pathway was chosen instead.

Community services staff said it was anticipated that the initial stage of the path construction would be completed in conjunction with the Park and Ride development works.

However, as with many projects and budgets at present, members were warned that there was a degree of uncertainty over the projects going ahead as planned, due to Council's revenue shortfall as a result of Covid-19.

Board members voted seven to two in favour of approving the path design through the former Atlas site and staging construction over future years “in an order that aligns with available funding”. Wellsford member Colin Smith and Warkworth member Tim Holdgate voted against the recommendation.

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