Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Excitement builds for Wairoa cycle bridge

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The newly released designs for the Wairoa cycle bridge have been welcomed by businesses in the area.

The plans, unveiled at Western Bay of Plenty District Council on Monday night, feature a curved, single span bridge with no piles in the water and an arch about 40 metres high at midpoint.

Waimarino Adventure Park director Blair Anderson said they were stoked with the design of the new bridge.

"It is the best thing for this city and region. The design is amazing and I look forward to seeing its final construction."

He said it was important the structure fitted in with the natural environment.

Mr Anderson said it would provide a fantastic view for people cycling between Tauranga and Omokoroa. He said bridge would be a feature of the area and be placed in the vicinity of the original rail bridge that joined the two shores.

"It's the perfect option to be able to mix things up. You could go for a half-day cycle and then a half-day kayak tour."

Cycling enthusiast Phil Shoemack said it would be great to have a safe and attractive bridge across the river for both pedestrians and people on bikes.

"It's neat that it will connect with the path that Western Bay of Plenty District Council is building to Omokoroa and, hopefully in time, through to Waihi."

What was not clear was how the trail would connect to Tauranga, he said.

It is hoped an "iconic" cycle and walking bridge over the Wairoa River will become a tourist attraction contributing to the Bay economy. Photo/Supplied
It is hoped an "iconic" cycle and walking bridge over the Wairoa River will become a tourist attraction contributing to the Bay economy. Photo/Supplied

Glen Crowther, of the Sustainable Business Network's Bike Now, said the design of the new bridge was very cool and innovative.

"Overall it's a really great initiative and we are pleased tangata whenua were pleased at the design."

It is the best thing for this city and region. The design is amazing and I look forward to seeing its final construction.
Blair Anderson

Nourish Cafe manager Megan Chaplin said she liked the design of the new bridge and hoped to see more commuters through the doors of the Te Puna business.

The current bridge across the river was quite narrow and dangerous for cyclists, she said.

"It will definitely make it easier for people to get out this way," she said.

Ms Chaplin said the addition of the bridge to the area, along with the upgrade of the Minden Rd, Te Puna roundabout, made the complex more accessible.

Persimmon Lane Cakes operator Rose Chalmers said the new bridge opened up networks in the region.

Te Puna was becoming a mini Matakana and the bridge was one more way people could get there, she said.

Cafe Paradiso manager Kamal Singh said the bridge was a great idea for the region and he looked forward to welcoming customers to his cafe.

The bridge was designed by architect firm Warren and Mahoney and features a curved, single span bridge with no piles in the water and an arch about 40 metres high at midpoint. Photo/Supplied
The bridge was designed by architect firm Warren and Mahoney and features a curved, single span bridge with no piles in the water and an arch about 40 metres high at midpoint. Photo/Supplied

- Bay of Plenty Times

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