Old bridges to go as new cycleway is constructed

By Alexandra Newlove

Construction on the new cycleway is expected to begin in March or April.
Construction on the new cycleway is expected to begin in March or April.

Two 100-year-old bridges in Whangarei are soon to be no more - the district council has issued contracts worth $289,000 to replace them.

The bridges, on the Waimahanga track at Onerahi, will form part of the cycleway Whangarei District Council (WDC) is in the process of building from the seaside suburb into the CBD.

WDC Infrastructure Committee chairman Greg Martin said the current bridges were too narrow, at just 60cm wide, for the track. The new versions would be 2.5m wide.

Construction was expected to begin in March or April, with the public to be notified soon of the three- to four-week closure. The $289,000 figure included a 61 per cent subsidy from the New Zealand Transport Agency.

The 6km Onerahi track will connect Onerahi to the CBD and Hatea Loop walkway. Much of the route was based along the Waimahanga track, which would link Riverside Dr to a track alongside Beach Rd at the tip of Onerahi peninsula.

Another section would run alongside Riverside Dr, requiring an embankment to be built along the shoreline. This would take several years because soil brought in would need to settle before three new pedestrian and cycle bridges next to the existing road bridges could be built.

WDC senior roading engineer traffic and parking Nick Marshall said there had been a lot of debate in the community on a number of issues around the Onerahi cycleway, including whether or not to concrete the metal Waimahanga track. WDC currently lacked the budget to do this anyway, he said.

The new bridges will be designed by Kiwi firms Tiaki ECL and Bridge It NZ.

It was expected the entire Onerahi track would be completed by 2018 to 2021, following in the wake of tracks to Kamo and Raumanga.

- Northern Advocate

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