News, Events and Culture

Riverside walkway to be detoured during construction work

Friday January 26 2018

Due to multiple construction projects based near or on the banks of the Manawatū River, the shared cycle and pedestrial pathway from Fitzherbert Bridge to Dittmer Drive will have a temporary detour. The shared pathway on the Massey University side will also be temporarily closed. Signs will be in place to advise of the closures.

River pathway sign

River Pathway users will have experience some detours and closures early in the year to accommodate several major construction work taking place near or on the pathway. Signs will be in place to advise of the change in route.

Work includes the start of the construction of Stage 2 of the He Ara Kotahi pathway and bridge, Horizons rock protection work to the riverbank, and Powerco drilling to enable a cable to be fed under the river.

Concrete Structures Ltd are Palmerston North’s City Council’s contractor for the bridge construction. They are working alongside Horizons and Powerco to ensure that all work is carried out during similar periods to minimise the period of disruption.

Ray Swadel, PNCC General Manager – City Networks says, “These are all individually significant projects that will each bring long-term benefits to our city. The three organisations and their contractors are working closely together with shared access to site and have timed projects to be accommodating to the pathway users. While we know the detour and temporary closures may cause some disruption for regular users, the work is being carefully managed to keep the disruption to a minimum.”

Glenn Sharratt, Powerco Acting Service Delivery and System Operations General Manager says, “The proposed pedestrian/cycle bridge is an exciting development for the city. We have pledged $500,000 to the city council towards the construction of the bridge to enable additional cables to be run over it.”

Powerco will lay 33kV electricity cables on the new bridge and under the river to ensure cable route diversity and hence provide security of power supply to the city.

“A reliable supply of electricity underpins economic confidence and growth. Powerco is committed to ensuring the city continues to grow and prosper,” says Mr Sharratt. “While we are still in the planning and securing stage, we are working to keep within overall PNCC project timelines. This is one of the larger electricity network upgrade projects that Powerco has undertaken.“

Concrete Structures Ltd and Powerco are working on both sides of the river. A base on Dittmer Drive Reserve near the Holiday Park will be fenced off during their construction work. During this time a detour of the shared pathway will take people onto Dittmer Drive to avoid the area.

Horizons rock lining of the river bank is expected to take 12 weeks. Their construction site is between Dittmer Drive and Fitzherbert Bridge. During the construction work, trucks delivering rock to the site will be using the pathway area in a carefully managed procedure with a section of the pathway being closed. The shared pathway will detour around the closed section, back through the Esplanade and past the miniature railway station. Signs will be in place.

Paul Josephs Horizons Regional Council Area Engineer – Central says, “We understand people who use this walkway regularly, have possibly wondered why we haven’t got work in this area underway until now. This was so we could work at the same time as other projects and minimise the length of time the walkway would be closed.”

He Ara Kotahi Pathway, is a 7.6km off-road pathway and bridge for cyclists and pedestrians over the Manawatu River. Once built, He Ara Kotahi will be a key route into Palmerston North’s urban transport network, connecting Linton Military Camp, Massey University, Ag Research, Fitzherbert Science Centres and FoodHQ to the city.