Submissions open on pedestrian bridge plans
Public submissions are open on Palmerston North’s proposed cycle and pedestrian bridge across the Manawatu River.
The bridge, at the corner of Ruha St and Dittmer Drive, would be part of the He Ara Kotahi project linking to a 6.6-kilometre shared pathway from the Fitzherbert Bridge to Massey University and the science centres, and to Linton Military Camp.
Before the $7 million bridge can be built, it needs resource consents from the city council and Horizons Regional Council.
Those applications have been lodged, and were being publicly advertised on Monday.
The notification opens the four-week time frame for the public to lodge any submissions, which closes on Monday, December 19.
He Ara Kotahi project steering group chairman Ray Swadel said the plan was to build a 190-metre long bridge with a central viewing platform just downstream of the holiday park.
It was expected to attract more than 1000 users a day, reducing the number of trips across the Fitzherbert Bridge, providing an off-road option for commuters and an attraction for recreational walkers and cyclists.
It has been designed with four spans, with features inspired by the idea of a karaka tree falling across the river forming a bridge. The canopy and branches of the karaka would fall on the northern bank off Dittmer Drive.
The proposals need consents from the regulatory arms of both councils.
‘‘A project of this complexity requires us to make applications for a number of land use consents, along with discharge and water permits,’’ Swadel said.
The construction of the bridge would involve earthworks on the northern and southern embankments of the Manawatu River and would disturb the riverbed.
The work would include alterations to the stop banks.
The river would have to be diverted temporarily to allow machinery to get in to build the bridge piers on the riverbed.
The work would have to be carried out with sensitivity, as the site was an area of cultural significance, as well as a flood protection zone.
A decision on whether or not the consents should be granted was expected by the middle of 2017.