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At yesterday’s (9 November 2023) Hamilton City Council Infrastructure and Transport Committee, staff got the nod to proceed with the procurement for design of a new water reservoir and pedestrian and cycle (active modes) bridge for the central city.

These infrastructure projects are part of a programme allocated $150.6 million from central Government’s Infrastructure Acceleration Fund (IAF) to help unlock housing in the central city.

Over the last ten years, Hamilton Kirikiriroa has experienced significant growth, and this is projected to continue. Council has signalled that growing up and out from the central city is a priority, especially for enabling more affordable housing supply.

The bridge will allow more transport choice and safer connections to and from east Hamilton, and the reservoir will increase our supply of drinking water and capacity for firefighting as the central city grows, said IAF Programme Delivery Manager, Natasha Hansen.

“We will also be looking for opportunities to deliver on our commitments to connect better with the Waikato awa.

“An active modes bridge in the central city location has been an aspiration for the city for decades and there have been many advocates for it over time.”

Deputy Mayor and Chair of Infrastructure and Transport Committee Angela O’Leary said we have this once-in-a-lifetime funding opportunity to provide much needed infrastructure facilities in the heart of our city.

“Aesthetics and accessibility will be key considerations in the design process. Balancing form and function within budget and timeframe needs to be carefully managed.

“Both the bridge and reservoir will be highly visible locations for our community, so what they look like will be important. We’ve seen lots of iterations of design concepts over the years, particularly for the bridge, but we really need to start at the beginning so we can make sure we get the best outcome for our city.”

On Tuesday, Council put out to market a request for expressions of interest from construction teams with the skills and experience to design and construct the bridge.

The best teams will be invited to present a design and construction concept for further shortlisting. Up to two teams will progress designs for final evaluation.

Design will start in 2024. The preferred contractor will be awarded a design and construction contract early-to-mid 2025.

“There remains a lot of investigation and planning before the location and details of the bridge and the reservoir are confirmed and this will come to life as the projects progress,” said Hansen.

“It is early days, there are many questions and challenges we have yet to work through such as maximising access despite the steep terrain and current and historic land use.

“The bridge will have no piers in the river, and the health of the awa will be at the forefront for the bridge.

“Representatives of Waikato-Tainui and local hapuu are providing invaluable input into the development of both projects. This includes minimising the impacts on our whenua and awa, and informing a design that is special and unique to Hamilton Kirikiriroa.”

Completion of the reservoir and active modes bridge are planned for 2028. 

For further detail about the Council report click here

Further IAF information:

 As part of the IAF Agreement, Council is expecting that the IAF investment will support around 4000 homes for up to 10,800 people by 2035. IAF Housing Outcomes Agreements were signed between Kāinga Ora, Council and six developers to deliver a large portion of this housing to the central city.   

 The grant will fund the new water reservoir and pump station, active modes bridge, and investigations into other strategic three waters and transport infrastructure in the central city.  

Alongside housing, it will also support more than 300,000m2 of commercial and retail space and has the potential to unlock more than $2 billion in private investment over the next decade.

Find out more detail about the IAF here

Quick Facts

  • The central city contributed an estimated $3.2 billion (about 25%) to Hamilton's GDP for the year to March 2023.
  • Nearly 22,000 people are employed in the central city.
  • Almost 2000 Hamiltonians call the central city home.
  • The median age in the central city is 32 years.
  • Open spaces make up 10% of the central city.
  • 6% of indigenous vegetation remains in the central city.



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