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Gordon Rd still viewed as option  

Trustpower has reiterated that it may truck 72-tonne machines through Mosgiel’s main street to its inland wind farm.

But the Dunedin City Council’s transportation operations manager, Don Hill, cannot see how that can be done.

The power company wants to use Gordon Rd, if the Taieri River bridge on Allanton Rd cannot be strengthened, to truck heavy parts of machinery to the wind-farm site at Mahinerangi.

TrustPower community relations managerGraeme Purches said the company had never intended to use Riccarton Rd.

But Mr Hill said he could not see how the company could use Gordon Rd, given its pedestrian crossings and the fact it was Mosgiel’s main street.

Mr Hill also said a disagreement over transport routes could lead to a failure to agree to a traffic management plan, which was part of the wind farm’s consent.

The council would prefer that the company use Riccarton Rd.

Mr Hill acknowledged it could send the trucks where it wanted, but said there would be “huge costs” in traffic control if using Gordon Rd.

Trucks would have to go on to the wrong side of the road as they turned off State Highway 1.

Mr Purches said the company wanted to use Gordon Rd, or Allanton Rd, to transport the wind farm machinery to Mahinerangi.

All turbines and blades would be sent over Allanton Rd, but the part of the tower the blades were attached to might be too heavy for the Taieri River bridge in Allanton Rd.

The equipment would be transported outside peak times.

Riccarton Rd was not an option because there was public opposition, and Allanton Rd was simply a better fit, he said.

Discussions over a traffic management plan would only start when the company received consent for the wind farm, he said.

An Environment Court hearing on the Mahinerangi wind farm finished last month.

Mr Hill was surprised an agreement had been announced between private groups and the power companies, with the companies limiting use of Riccarton Rd.

Under the consent conditions for the wind farms, the companies had to consult local authorities and prepare a traffic management plan, and those discussions had not taken place, Mr Hill said.

“How can they [Meridian Energy and TrustPower] make agreement when they do not have any agreed plan with a local authority?” Mr Hill asked.

The council failed yesterday to get money from the Regional Land Transport committee for resource consent preparation for an arterial route network around Mosgiel, and was warned it would struggle to get Crown funding for the project.

Deputy mayor Syd Brown removed the request for $450,000 from the table, and said the council would come back to the committee with further information.

Costs for the roading project had ballooned from $4 million to $10 million.

Meridian Energy could not be reached for comment.

Land Transport New Zealand southern region principal planner Mark Yaxley said the project had a low cost-benefit ratio and it was highly unlikely to get support from the LTNZ board, which decided funding.

By Steve Hepburn

Otago Daily Times

5 June 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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