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Bridge delays frustrate motorists
Stalled: Traffic banked up past the
Remarkables Ski Area turn-off waiting
to cross the historic one-lane Kawarau
Bridge. Photo: JO BOYD 627460699
By BROOKE GARDINER
Up to $30,000 could be spent
upgrading technology which con-
trols the traffic lights at the
historic one-lane Kawarau Bridge
after unprecedented queues up to
an hour long frustrated hundreds
of motorists during the holiday
Motorists travelling north
towards Queenstown on SH6
faced long delays at the bridge in
the days before New Year, and
New Zealand Transport Agency
bosses believe sensor technology
installed at the bridge may have
added to the problem.
Transport Agency Central Otago
area manager John Jarvis said
part of the problem was motorists
leaving too big a gap between each
other, which meant sensors
triggered the lights to change
sooner than they otherwise
''Contractors put a mobile vari-
able message sign at the bridge on
the Kingston side asking people to
travel closer to the car in front,''
The delays highlight an almost
year-round issue for residents
who face delays every time the
area is busy, especially during the
Mr Jarvis said the problem had
been raised with them several
times and it was likely new
sensors would be installed to
reduce wait times and improve
flow before winter.
''We are going to look at a more
sophisticated system . . . it would
cost about $20,000 to $30,000.''
The stop-gap measure was not
ideal but it would improve traffic
flow until a new bridge could be
built, he said.
''It's not great, and obviously a
new bridge would help the
Councillor Cath Gilmour said the
queues, which were as long as 320
vehicles, highlighted a desperate
need for a new two-lane bridge
across the Kawarau River.
With no budget allocated to build
a new bridge within the next four
years, Ms Gilmour has lobbied the
agency since July to make minor
changes at the bridge, including
changing the lighting phase to
favour traffic on the southern side
during peak times as a stop-gap
measure until a new bridge is
Ten days ago, Ms Gilmour
contacted Mr Jarvis again with
figures after counting traffic at
the bridge. Between four and 14
cars were queued on the Frankton
side of the bridge and all got
through on one light phase for the
entire time she was there, she
Her counting indicated up to 14
cars could cross the bridge in one
light phase but another six could
fit on if they ran the orange or red
If drivers were encouraged to do
that, during peak times, it would
increase efficiency per light by
almost 50 per cent, she said.
Music work keeping brothers busy
Class act: Joe Cowie (left) works the mic while brother Caleb works the decks.
The duo have a multitude of music projects on the go, and are preparing for a
US and Canadian tour next year.
By GRANT BRYANT
Queenstown musical multitasker
Joe Cowie has had a year of
breakthroughs, earning wide-
spread internet acclaim, perform-
ing to huge crowds and preparing
for a tour of the United States and
Canada this year.
Cowie has a string of music
projects but the most prominent is
Blackplanet, a breaks and drum 'n
bass duo consisting of Joe and his
Wellington-based brother Caleb.
Blackplanet's releases have
gained decent sales on iTunes, but
playing live is the real thrill.
''Playing live is where everything
comes out,'' Cowie said.
''All those hours and days spent in
the studio perfecting a track
means that you can really unleash
it all in front of a crowd and really
get them them moving, and seeing
a room full of people dancing to
your music is a real thrill.''
However, Blackplanet is only one
part of the Cowie brothers', and
Joe's, prodigious musical output.
K-Lab is primarily Caleb's
vehicle, but as Analogue MC Joe
forms a vital vocal backbone to
the act, although other MCs and
vocalists are used.
Caleb toured K-Lab in Canada and
the fans gained through a
constant stream of releases, and
the live tour, means both brothers
are prepping for a Canadian and
US tour in 2013. ''It looks like it'll
be an eight to 10 week tour of both
Canada and the United States,
which should be an awesome
experience, and help raise our
Joe's band, Pass The Sauce, will
also be hitting the live circuit
again, after a year's hiatus.
''It's definitely time to bring the
live vibe back to Queenstown
after a year off, and we'll be
hitting World Bar's balcony for a
series of live sets throughout the
Joe's solo project Lil Massive, a
sample-based hip-hop act featur-
ing live musicians, made its live
debut at the Summerlands festival
at the Lake Hawea Hotel, where
K-Lab also played a set.
Born to be a cowgirl
Champion: Angie Perkins, of Luggate,
Luggate cowgirl Angie Perkins
hopes her win at last week's
Wanaka Rodeo will help secure
her third straight New Zealand
Barrel Racing Champion title, but
she is not letting herself get too
confident just yet.
Ms Perkins, 31, won the barrel
racing at the rain-drenched
Wanaka Rodeo. She will go on to
compete at the National Finals
Rodeo, being hosted by the
Egmont-Wanganui Rodeo Club in
The top eight cowboys and
cowgirls from rodeos throughout
the country compete at the finals,
with the ones who have earned
the most money in their events
announced the winners.
Ms Perkins said, despite the
method used to determine the
national champions, being a
competitive cowboy or cowgirl
was not a big earner.
It involved travelling to 15 to 20
rodeos throughout the country a
year and taking a horse float
across Cook Strait was expensive.
Southland-raised Ms Perkins, a
member of the Wanaka Rodeo
Club, has been a competitive
cowgirl for more than a decade.
''My parents met at a rodeo so it's
been in the family since before I
''It has always been a part of my
life. It just comes naturally.''
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