Bridge Lo­ca­tion Ap­proved

The Tribune (NZ) - - SQUARE CIRCULAR -

He Ara Kotahi Bridge is an­other step closer to re­al­ity as Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil con­firmed the site for the new cy­cle­way and pedes­trian bridge. It will cross the river near the in­ter­sec­tion of Dittmer Drive and Ruha Street, af­ter the rec­om­men­da­tion from the Project Steer­ing Group was unan­i­mously en­dorsed by the Coun­cil’s Plan­ning and Pol­icy Com­mit­tee. The com­mit­tee also de­cided to in­clude a cen­tral view­ing plat­form in the bridge de­sign and wants a range of op­tions to be con­sid­ered to the value of up to $280,000.

Project Steer­ing Group Chair Ray Swadel said he was de­lighted Coun­cil had em­braced the Karaka Tree de­sign con­cept and agreed on the lo­ca­tion. “This is just the start. There is still plenty to do be­fore a bridge can be built and we are work­ing to tight time­frames.” He said the dead­lines must be met un­der the gov­ern­ment’s fund­ing cri­te­ria, mean­ing the bridge needs to be built in a lit­tle over two years. “We think this is achiev­able now that Coun­cil has given ap­proval to the site.” Mr Swadel said the next step will be to present a de­tailed busi­ness case to the New Zealand Trans­port Agency for ap­proval to ob­tain gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the project. “We also need to ap­ply for re­source con­sents. We’ll be un­der­tak­ing tech­ni­cal as­sess­ments of both the ef­fect of traf­fic and the vis­ual im­pact on nearby res­i­dences as part of that process. We ac­knowl­edge that some res­i­dents have con­cerns about the po­ten­tial im­pact of the bridge on their neigh­bour­hood. We plan to work with res­i­dents as we de­velop the de­tailed de­sign to ad­dress as many of those con­cerns as pos­si­ble.” Peo­ple can also make sub­mis­sions dur­ing the con­sent­ing phase of the project. “Based on feed­back from the com­mu­nity and the es­ti­mated num­ber of com­muter and recre­ational users of the shared path­way, we are con­vinced Ruha Street is the best site for the bridge. This view has been re­in­forced by Massey Univer­sity’s de­ci­sion to en­able a di­rect link con­nect­ing the shared path­way to its cam­pus and the Crown Re­search In­sti­tutes.” The 190 me­tre long bridge across the Manawatū River will be part of the shared path­way that will link the City with Massey Univer­sity and Linton Mil­i­tary Camp and is a part­ner­ship be­tween Hori­zons Re­gional Coun­cil, Massey Univer­sity, Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil, New Zealand Army at Linton, New Zealand Trans­port Agency and Ran­gitāne. The $10m project is part of the gov­ern­ment’s $333m Ur­ban Cy­cle­ways Pro­gramme. It has re­ceived $3m from this pro­gramme and $3.2m from the Na­tional Land Trans­port Fund.

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