News, Events and Culture

Sod turning marks start of He Ara Kotahi shared pathway

Friday May 6 2016

A ceremony has marked the official start of the He Ara Kotahi shared pathway and pedestrian/cycle bridge. The 6.6 kilometre pathway will link the City of Palmerston North, Massey University and Linton Military Camp.

Image of the He Ara Kotahi shared pathway sod turning

He Ara Kotahi shared pathway sod turning

Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith and Wiremu Te Awe Awe of Rangitāne have this morning turned the first sod for stage one of the project between Fitzherbert Bridge and the Turitea Stream.

The event was attended by a number of distinguished guests including Massey University Chancellor Chris Kelly, Vice-Chancellor Steve Maharey, Lieutenant Colonel Aidan Shattock representing the New Zealand Defence Force,  Paul Horton of Tanenuiarangi Manawatu, also representing Rangitāne, and the Chair of Horizons Regional Council, Bruce Gordon along with local MPs Ian McKelvie and Iain Lees-Galloway.  

At the sod turning, Mayor Smith announced long established Palmerston North-based firm Blackley Construction has been awarded the tender for stage one.

He says the project could never have got off the ground if it wasn’t for the partnership between Horizons Regional Council, Massey University, and the New Zealand Army at Linton Military Camp, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the Palmerston North City Council, Powerco and Rangitāne.

“I must also acknowledge the leadership, enthusiasm and support of Minister Bridges who has championed the development of urban cycleways.”

The $10m project is part of the Government’s $333m Urban Cycleways Programme. It has received $3m from this programme and $3.2m from National Land Transport Fund.

New Zealand Transport Agency Central Regional Director Raewyn Bleakley says the He Ara Kotahi project will be an important element in the City’s shared pathway network.

“Palmerston North already has one of the highest rates of commuter cycling in New Zealand. This project will offer commuters a safe and scenic ride between the City, Massey University, the Crown Research Institutes and Linton Military Camp.”

He Ara Kotahi Project Steering Group Chair Ray Swadel says the next thing on the agenda is to confirm the site for the cycle and pedestrian bridge linking the pathway to the City side of the Manawatū River.

“We have been weighing up three options for the location of the bridge. One option is near Botanical Road, the second is near Pitama Road and the third option is downstream near Maxwells Line. We are preparing a report on our preferred site to the Palmerston North City Council’s Finance and Performance Committee on May 16th.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for people to have their say on the location as we work on a detailed business case for the bridge over the coming weeks.”

Mr Swadel says the group will also work on finalising the route for the second stage of the pathway, from Turitea Stream to the Military Camp at Linton, as well as developing plans for a branch to the Crown Research Institutes, Food HQ and Massey University.

Mayor Smith says the He Ara Kotahi project reinforces the City’s plan to be the best place in New Zealand to ride a bike.

“In the next financial year, work will recommence on the 22km shared pathway between Ashhurst and Palmerston North. I’m also keen to make a start on a route linking the City and Feilding via Bunnythorpe.”



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