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Old Manawatū River Bridge to be demolished

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Following the completion of the new Manawatū River Bridge and Whirokino Trestle, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will proceed with plans to demolish the old bridge.

Following the completion of the new Manawatū River Bridge and Whirokino Trestle, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency will proceed with plans to demolish the old bridge.

Plans for demolition of the old bridge were paused after requests were made for Waka Kotahi to have another look at keeping it for walking and cycling use.

Principal Project Manager Glen Prince says Waka Kotahi took the time to consider keeping the old bridge for use by walkers and cyclists, but has now decided to prioritise removal of the old bridge and piers from the river for the long-term benefit of the environment and people who use the river.

“We consulted with council, iwi partners and stakeholders, including the local boating and cycling groups, and took a number of factors into consideration, such as the environment, safety and costs, and have decided that the best option is to demolish the old bridge as we’d originally planned.”

Currently, few people walk or cycle across the Manawatū River Bridge. For those who do, there is a 1.5 metre shoulder on each side of the bridge for them to use. Additionally, improvements have recently been made to level the drain grates in the shoulder to ensure a smoother and safer journey across the 200-metre-long bridge.

“In making this decision, we’ve prioritised the environmental benefits of removing the old bridge and piers, including flood management and the overall wellbeing of the river. There will also be improved safety benefits for people boating, swimming or generally enjoying recreational activities in the river,” Mr Prince says.

“We know that some people in the walking and cycling community will be disappointed by this decision. However, walkers and cyclists can continue to use the new Manawatū River Bridge and the Ken Everett cycleway alongside the Whirokino Trestle.

“The decision does not preclude Waka Kotahi from building another walking and cycling facility over the river in the future.

“We’d like to thank local iwi, Horizons Regional Council, Horowhenua District Council, and the boating and cycling groups for their input.”

Demolition of the old Manawatū River Bridge will commence in the coming months.

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