A public meeting has been organised for the He Ara Kotahi project this coming Wednesday, as the deadline approaches for a major report on the preferred bridge location.
The 6.6 kilometre shared pathway and bridge will link the city, Massey University and Linton Military Camp.
The first stage of the pathway between Fitzherbert Bridge and the Turitea Stream is already under construction.
A detailed business case is being developed to determine the final location of the cycle and pedestrian bridge across the Manawatū River.
“Last month, the Council decided to locate the bridge within a 400 metre zone on Dittmer Drive between Katene and Ruha Streets. We are still working out where but the most promising site is near Ruha Street. It is very important for us to get a good handle on the views of local residents and the community as a whole,” says He Ara Kotahi steering group chair, Ray Swadel.
Consultants from Opus International have visited the homes of residents along Dittmer Drive, Ruha and Katene Streets closest to this zone over recent weeks.
Last month a drop in discussion on the project was held at Victoria Esplanade.
The steering group is planning a public meeting at the Riverdale School Hall, 95 Slacks Road this coming Wednesday (13 July) from 7pm to 9pm.
“This will be an opportunity to talk to residents about our latest thinking on the location of the bridge, the key design features and the overall site development concept. We also invite residents to bring along their own ideas and inspirations to share.”
The detailed business case with its final recommendation on the bridge location will be presented to the Council’s planning and policy committee on 1 August.
From there, detailed plans will be developed and consents applied for.
"We’re still working on the detailed plans for the branch as part of stage two of the project between the Turitea Stream and Linton Military Camp.”
Meanwhile, stage one of the pathway is well underway.
"Our contractor, Palmerston North based Blackley Construction has made good progress since work began in May despite some patchy weather,” says Mr Swadel.
The excavation and some drainage work have been completed and vegetation has been cleared away.
“Our contractors have literally carved out the track. The base course has been laid over 2.8 kilometres of the pathway. They’ve also surfaced 1.2 kilometres with a limestone top layer.”
He Ara Kotahi is a partnership between the Palmerston North City Council, Horizons Regional Council, Massey University, and the New Zealand Army at Linton, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Rangitāne.
The $10m project is part of the government’s $333m Urban Cycleways Programme. It has received $3m from this programme and $3.2 from the National Land Transport Fund.