Repairs will be carried out this week to the Aramoho Rail Bridge after concerns raised by Chronicle readers.

Whanganui East resident Peter Andrews contacted the newspaper about the bridge's state of disrepair and raised concerns about its safety.

"I was walking over the railway bridge... and noticed a full section of handrail had rotted and fallen over," Mr Andrews said.

"It is hanging right over the road below. The wire mesh is the only thing stopping it falling. I checked and a lot of the rails are rotten. How long before someone falls through one?"


Another concerned resident supplied photographs of the broken handrails to the Chronicle.

The Whanganui District Council has promised urgent repairs this week, although down-played the extent of the damage. Senior roading engineer Rui Leitao said the hardwood handrails "are not at risk of failure" but the council will make some minor repairs to them.

The council is responsible for the footbridge while KiwiRail looks after the railway bridge and any barriers or structures related to the railway bridge.

"We are hoping to repair a fence that was damaged when a train collided with a vehicle that had been dumped on the railway line," Mr Leitao said.

The fence repair work is subject to KiwiRail approval but is likely to happen this week, he said.

In May 2017 Mayor Hamish McDouall said the council would inspect and repair the most urgent items on the footbridge immediately. Mr Leitao said some minor resurfacing and fence repairs were done in May-June 2017.

The council has applied for New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) funding assistance to upgrade the pedestrian bridge to a shared (walking and cycling) pathway standard. If funding is approved for the $1.55 million project, it is expected work will be done in the 2018-2021 period. The council expects NZTA to advise its decision in July/August.