Whanganui's mayor says a number of factors have led to traffic issues with the city's Dublin St Bridge.
Hamish McDouall said this week Whanganui needed a replacement for the congested 107-year-old bridge and the council was beginning the process of putting budget in the long term plan for the next three years.
"It's an old bridge, it's a narrow bridge and it also services a good connection between State Highway 3 and 4."
Read more: Bridge causing bottlenecks ... and headaches
Talking to Andrew Dickens on Newstalk ZB, McDouall said predictions from economists in the past that the city's population was going to decline had been proved wrong.
Listen to the interview below:
Instead the city had grown by 5000 people.
"More people are leaving Auckland and Tauranga and coming here."
In response to Dickens' question that this is something that should have been thought about 15 years ago, McDouall said decisions made 10 to 20 years ago were made on the best information at the time.
He said the bridge was a "peculiar squeeze point".
Residents were reported this week as saying it can take a long time to cross the bridge in peak traffic. One said he needed half an hour at least, while another complained of being stuck for about 45 minutes.
McDouall said he thought 45 minutes was extreme, but it could take "a good 20 minutes" to get across the bridge during rush hour and school drop-off in the morning, or when there's football on at Wembley Park.