Upokongaro Cycle Bridge

  • Project typeBridge and cycle path construction
  • Project valueApproximately $2.54M with 50% of funding provided by NZTA and $600,000 from MBIE.
  • Contractor nameEmmetts Civil Construction, using B. Bullocks for the earthworks and off-road cycleway construction.

The Upokongaro Cycle Bridge was proposed in 2017, as a purpose-built cycle and pedestrian bridge from the small Whanganui River settlement of Upokongaro to Whanganui city, continuing to the city’s 50 km/h limit on the Aramoho side of the river.

The project is part of the Mountains to Sea cycleway, which begins in Ohakune and continues through National Park to Whanganui, ending at Castlecliff’s North Mole.

The current projected cost of the bridge and continuation of the cycle path is approximately $2.54M, with 50% of funding provided by the New Zealand Transport Agency. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will fund $600,000 toward the project and Whanganui District Council will provide the remaining funds.

Emmetts Civil Construction was awarded the contract to design and build the walkway, using B. Bullocks for the earthworks and off-road cycleway construction. Holmes Consulting designed the bridge.

Engeo and Geotech Drilling undertook geotechnical work on the bridge site in late 2017.

Construction commenced in mid-2018. A variation to the Horizons Resource Consent was requested in July 2018, to enable the abutments to be built higher than originally detailed.

Raising the bridge 800 millimetres above the minimum requirements will provide an additional measure of flood protection, reducing risks to the structure from climate change effects.

Changing the height of the bridge is not related to clearance for the Waimarie Paddle Steamer, which would have been able to pass comfortably under the original bridge design.

Final approvals for this project are now very close to being concluded. The next step will be to work with the project contractor to determine a suitable launch date, taking into account weather conditions.