News, Events and Culture

Cycle and pedestrian bridge impact assessed

Thursday October 13 2016

The He Ara Kotahi cycle and pedestrian bridge is expected to have a low impact on the surrounding neighbourhood, according to a series of draft technical reports.

Photo shows mocked up view of new bridge spanning river as seen from the Fitzherbert Bridge.

What the new bridge would look like from Fitzherbert Bridge. Our initial design work indicates the bridge would have a relatively low profile.

Prepared by experts, the reports will become part of the Palmerston North City Council’s application for resource consents for the proposed 191 metre cycle and pedestrian bridge to be built near the intersection of Ruha Street and Dittmer Drive.

They include analysis of the effects on the neighbourhood of vehicle, cycle and pedestrian traffic along with parking, urban design, and the visual impact of the project.

“Currently there are around 72 vehicles using Ruha Street at the peak travel time between 8am and 9am. With the bridge in place this number is expected to increase by 30 to 102 vehicles. Across the whole day there are currently 940 vehicles using Ruha Street and we expect this to increase by 74 to 1,014,” says project steering group chair Ray Swadel.

He says the effects of parking demand are expected to be low on streets neighbouring the bridge as most people are expected to use the Dittmer Drive carpark next to the Holiday Camp.

“There are nearly 100 off street carparks within 400 metres of the bridge,” says Mr Swadel.

Cyclists and pedestrians are expected to go back and forth across the bridge just under 1,200 (1,180) times each day.

“We’re expecting residents to enjoy the benefits of having the bridge and pathway network nearby and experience only small and localised impacts of having more people in the area.”

Photo shows mocked up view of proposed bridge from the corner of Ruha and Henare Streets.

This photo visualisation shows what the proposed bridge would look like at the corner of Ruha and Henare Streets

Mr Swadel says the project will improve the surroundings. Some exotic trees and shrubs will make way to create the attractive Karaka tree design concept.

“The immediate neighbours may be able to see the bridge depending on the position of their homes relative to the stop bank and other trees and shrubs. Our initial design work indicates the bridge will have a relatively low profile.”

Hydraulic and ecological assessments have also been completed.

“We’ll work hard to avoid disrupting the normal migration of river fish and limit the release of sediment in the water. There’ll be a slight increase in the water level upstream of the proposed pedestrian bridge in the event of a flood, but this won’t significantly affect the level of flood protection offered by existing stop banks.

“Shortly we’ll be lodging our resource consent applications. People will be able to make submissions when the applications are publicly notified towards the end of the year. The application will be heard by independent commissioners and a decision on whether or not the bridge will go ahead is expected to be made by the middle of next year.”

Mocked up photo shows the bridge is barely visible from the top of the stopbank on the corner of Dittmer Drive and Wikiriwhi Crescent.

The bridge will be barely visible from the top of the stopbank on the corner of Dittmer Drive and Wikiriwhi Crescent.

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