QLDC makes false claim that arterial road is 420 metres longer than reality

by Peter Newport - Mar 21, 2024

In a marketing video released by the Queenstown Lakes District Council yesterday (March 20, 2024) the council attempted to show evidence of work in progress with footage of a worker shovelling thin air. The council also claims in their video that the arterial road is 1,070 metres long - but the actual length is only 650 metres.

Comments on the council's Facebook page note that the worker in the video has nothing but thin air to shovel as he is standing on finished and set concrete.

Shovelling thin air - just one of the problems with the QLDC promotional video

Crux has carefully measured the distance covered by stage 1 of the arterial road and it is just under 650 metres long from where Melbourne Street meets Frankton Road and where Henry Street meets Gorge Road. That's an eye watering cost of $190,000 per metre at the current $128 million cost.

The council video though claims the road is 1,070 metres long.

Where did the extra 420 metres come from? Image: QLDC video

Crux challenged this information yesterday, asking how QLDC managed to come up with a road length of 1,070 metres.

Google Earth shows the exact distance of the Melbourne and Henry Street arterial road section as 648.25 metres. This measurement is confirmed by four other map/geotech sources. Image: Google Earth.

The council's response was that the arterial road "extends" into the existing Frankton Road and Gorge Road, pointing Crux to their offical project website as "proof" of this. Crux looked at the detailed arterial road plans on the council website and could see no extra work or engineering on Frankton and Gorge Roads apart from some road markings and footpath changes.

The plans for the Henry Street end of the arterial road seem to include elements of stage 2 that is not funded and not likely to be funded.

Crux spoke to Layla Kashanian who is the Stakeholder Manager for the QLDC/NZTA partnership building the arterial road and asked her how long the road was. 

Ms Kashanian refused to answer our questions, referring us to the QLDC comms team, even after we pointed out the problems with the QLDC 1,070 metre road length claim. 

The QLDC has used the existing Frankton and Gorge Roads to justify an arterial road length of 1,070 metres. Source: QLDC.

Crux has also realised courtesy of the QLDC's 1,070 metre claim, that most of the actual arterial road route already existed as a two lane road - Henry Street and Melbourne Street. So arguably the only "original" new road is a tiny section that joins the two roads ... a section that we have measured as 166 metres.

The only "original" section of the arterial road is 166 metres long. Image: Google Earth

The cost of that 166 metres if linked to the $128 million total cost is $771,000 per metre. 

Read: Arterial road whistleblower: cover ups, incompetence and QLDC tantrums

Read: Crux site visit: little evidence of arterial road work


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