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.”
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.”