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Options unveiled for the future of the Whirokino Trestle and Manawatū River Bridge

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The public will get its first glimpse at early options for wider, safer and modern river crossings between Foxton and Levin on State Highway 1.

Transport Agency regional highways manager David McGonigal says the Transport Agency has identified a number of options to replace the 1.1km Whirokino Trestle, and replace or upgrade the 180m Manawatū River Bridge. Funding for the investigation of options has been made available by the Government’s accelerated regional roading programme.

The public are invited to come along to a public information day next Thursday (13 November) to learn more about the options and have a chat to the project team.

“It’s exciting that we have the opportunity to get these two bridges sorted for the future,” says Mr McGonigal. “This is a busy transport lifeline, and making these bridges safer and more reliable will pay dividends not just for the region but for the whole country.

“The bridges in their current state represent an economic constraint, because HPMV trucks are required to go the long way around. Safer, stronger, more modern structures will enable the region to be more productive and competitive as a freight hub.

“As regular travellers are well aware, the bridges are narrow, with very limited shoulder space, which is far from ideal for heavy vehicles and cyclists. By creating wider bridges, we can create space for cyclists to ride safely, while also allowing extra clearance in the event that a vehicle loses control.”

The bridges are both nearing their use-by date; the Whirokino Trestle was built in 1938, and the Manawatū River Bridge was built in 1942.

The Transport Agency is considering four options (illustrated in the attached map):

  • Options 1 and 1A involve different routes and replacing both the Whirokino Trestle and the Manawatū River Bridge
  • Options 2 and 2A follow similar routes to the existing bridges. Option 2A involves upgrading and strengthening the existing Manawatū River Bridge.

Once an option is selected, design is due to begin mid-2015, subject to funding from the regional accelerated programme for the design phase. Mr McGonigal says the Transport Agency will work closely with local councils, iwi, and the entire community as the project is developed.

“We want to involve the community from the outset and develop this project with the help of local insight. We’d love to see a strong turnout at the info day, and we’re committed to taking the public with us as we work through the option selection and design process.

The public information day is being held at Foxton War Memorial hall on Thursday 13 November from 3pm to 7pm.

If you can’t make it, you can get more information from:
Website: www.nzta.govt.nz/whirokino(external link)
Email: whirokino@nzta.govt.nz

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The Whirokino Trestle Bridge is an 1100m long, reinforced concrete bridge constructed in 1938 to carry traffic
over the Manawatū River floodplain.

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