A new swing bridge is responsible for a spike in the use of the Rotary River Pathways in Central Hawke's Bay.

Spanning the Tukituki River, the bridge links flat limestone trails on both riverbanks, enabling a scenic loop.

It has doubled the number of easily accessible walking and cycling opportunities from Waipukurau and more than doubled the number of people using th trails.

Local resident Vivienne Kawana said the bridge made a "huge difference" to her exercise regime.

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"It has given me an incentive to get out on my bike more and to just see the countryside," she said.

"I didn't actually realise just what we had to offer in Waipukurau, other than riding the roads, but doing it along the cycle tracks is amazing."

The bridge took just six weeks to build but it took three years to raise the $250,000 needed.

Rotary River Pathways Trust chairman Roy Fraser said support was widespread with a cost approaching $250,000.

"It's been a major project and a lot of sausages sold, but we've got there," he said.

Central Hawke's Bay District Council Chief Executive, Monique Davidson paid tribute to the Trust's achievement.

"For residents and visitors to Central Hawke's Bay. this is a must-see," she said.

"What an amazing asset."

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