Archer's Bridge at Kai Iwi Beach has been repaired and was re-opened to the public on December 21, but further work may be needed.
The bridge was damaged in the June flood. "The bridge not only enables beachgoers to safely cross the Kai Iwi stream but it also adds to the overall character of this much loved beach," Whanganui District Council deputy property manager Leighton Toy said.
Repair work was done by Emmetts Civil Construction, at a total cost of $110,000. The council is investigating using more large rock "rip-rap" to protect land at the bridge's seaward end. The papa headland there is predicted to disappear within 15 to 20 years and the rocks could keep sand from washing out before that time.
Mr Toy said enough sand had been expected to accumulate naturally to protect the headland, but El Nino's westerly winds and currents had prevented that. Archer's Bridge has washed out at least three times in the past. The present version is designed to last for 100 years, and can be re-located as and when required.
The piles upstream were put in to capture trees washing downstream in floods and stop them damaging it.