10 April 2018
Locals and tourists will be able to enjoy an off-road cycle route from the small Whanganui River settlement of Upokongaro to Whanganui city, following the completion of a cycle and pedestrian bridge in March 2019.
The cycleway will cross the Whanganui River south of Upokongaro on a purpose-built bridge and continue 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.
Paul Chaplow, Strategic Lead – Destination Marketing for Whanganui & Partners, says another cycle-friendly option in Whanganui helps grow Whanganui’s cycling culture and is another great reason to visit Whanganui.
“The bridge at Upokongaro will take cyclists off the busiest part of the current route and onto quiet trails on the opposite side of the Whanganui River which will lead them straight into the town.”
“The bridge will be a real asset to Whanganui not only because it improves the Mountains to Sea cycle route but because it creates more cycling options with an easily accessible, flat, cycle-friendly day ride to Upokongaro.”
The current projected cost of the bridge and continuation of the cycle path is $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 and will use B. Bullocks for the earthworks and off-road cycleway construction. Holmes Consulting will design the bridge.
Engeo and Geotech Drilling undertook geotechnical work on the bridge site in late 2017.
Physical work on the project is likely to begin in early May 2018.