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Plan developed for first stage of Palmerston North to Linton Shared Pathway He Ara Kotahi

Tuesday February 9 2016

A plan for the first stage of the Palmerston North City to Linton Shared Pathway and bridge project has been finalised, marking the first milestone in the $10m project.

Linton pathway stage one

The 6.6 kilometre shared pathway for cyclists and pedestrians on the left bank of the Manawatū River will link the City, Massey University and the Linton Military Camp.

The project has been named He Ara Kotahi, or "a pathway that brings people together".

A number of leading organisations in the city are working together on the project. They include the Palmerston North City Council, Massey University, Rangitāne, Horizons Regional Council, the New Zealand Army at Linton Military Camp and the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Project steering group chair, Ray Swadel of the Palmerston North City Council says the partnership is working well.

"The development is due to key institutions in the city, regionally and nationally working together for the good of local residents and visitors."

Mr Swadel says the pathway will start at the Fitzherbert Bridge and generally follow the Manawatū River and Kahuterawa Stream to Bells Road, near Linton.

He says plans have been finalised for the first stage of the pathway, from Fitzherbert Bridge to the Turitea Stream.

"We're calling for tenders. We hope to have the contract awarded by the end of the month and start work in March/April.

"We're already working with Horizons and iwi on doing riparian planting along the river bank and Massey University is removing some exotic pines in the area.

"It is also intended to build another path that will branch off to the Crown Research Institutes, Food HQ and Massey University."

He says the exact route of the final stage of the pathway between Turitea Stream and Bells Road is still being investigated.

In the meantime, soldiers from Linton Military Camp are preparing to undertake site work where the Turitea Stream meets the Manawatū River.

Mr Swadel says the project team is assessing several possible locations for a pedestrian/cycle bridge across the Manawatū River between the Palmerston North Holiday Park and Maxwells Line.

"We've engaged Opus International Consultants to do that assessment. They'll be talking to the community to help determine the best crossing for the bridge and preparing resource consents once the location is determined," he says.

The project is being delivered as part of the government's $333m Urban Cycleways Programme. The government's contribution is $6.2 million, which is coming from the Urban Cycleways Fund and the National Land Transport Fund.

Raewyn Bleakley, NZ Transport Agency central regional director says it is fantastic to see such good progress being made on Palmerston North's cycleway network, which is essential in making cycling a more attractive and safer travel choice.

"The government is investing more than $3 million in the city's cycleways during the next three years from the Urban Cycleways Fund, and the Transport Agency will be investing more than $3 million from the National Land Transport Fund.

"Good quality cycleways are critical to the development of a network that will give more people safe options to cycle to work, school or recreational activities," she says.

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