Manawatu River bridge plan cops flak
What is it about Palmerston North and bridges?
After decades of promises, proposals and prevarications it finally looks like a second city bridge across the Manawatu River is about to happen.
OK, so this bridge won’t take vehicles, its site is not on any of the original option lists, and the fallen tree-inspired design is creating controversy, but apart from that, it’s all sweet.
Plans for the new 190-metre long, four span cycle and pedestrian bridge to be built near the Holiday Park camping ground at the end of Ruha St, were unveiled at a meeting last Wednesday, July 13. The concept is a tree falling across the river with its ‘‘roots’’ on the Massey side, the trunk forming the bridge, and the canopy and branches falling in a landscaped pattern.
Several who turned up to the Riverdale School Hall in Slacks Rd for the announcement expressed anger that the Ruha St option had not been part of previous consultation sessions around three other notified downstream options.
According to City Networks general manager and steering group chairman Ray Swadel, two of those original options, near Pitama Rd and near Maxwells Line, had been rejected because they had less community support and were more expensive to build. The third original option was at Katene St off Dittmer Dr near the end of Botanical Rd.
400 metres upstream from Katene St , Ruha St is quite literally down as ‘‘Plan B’’, and last week’s announcement has created huge discussion on Neighbourly and Facebook.
‘‘Too close to the existing bridge’’ is a prominent theme. Parking concerns in a quiet suburban area and the narrowness of Ruha St are other concerns.
Swadel said the views of residents would be considered before a final recommendation was presented to the city council’s planning and policy committee on August 1.
Part of the $10m He Ara Kotahi link from Fitzherbert Bridge to Massey and Linton, $3m will come from the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme, with another $3.2m from the National Land Transport Fund.
What do you think of the bridge plans? Join our discussion on neighbourly.co.nz/publication/the-tribune
An impression of the proposed cycle and footbridge looking south down Dittmer Dr with the head of the ‘‘tree’’ connecting to the shared riverside path and to Ruha St.