The sun shone as Rangitāne lay down the wero to Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter at the opening of He Ara Kotahi on Friday afternoon.

Minister Genter was joined by Palmerston North City Mayor Grant Smith to open the new walking and cycling bridge over the Manawatū River.

The bridge provides a safe walking and cycling route between the city, Massey University and Linton.

"This new bridge and pathway will make it possible for people to safely walk, cycle or scoot between the city, Massey University and Linton Military Camp," Minister Genter said.

"More than 18,000 people live, study or work on the south side of the Manawatū River and now they'll have more choice about how they get around their city.

"The pathway is expected to attract over 1000 people every day. It will be a great asset for locals and visitors.

"More people to walking and cycling for short trips in Palmerston North means more foot traffic for business and less competition for car parking in the CBD.

"This project is part of Government's $390 million programme to make it easier for Kiwis to walk and cycle around their cities for their everyday transport needs."

The 7.1km pathway features five bridges, including a 194m long bridge across the Manawatū River.

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He Ara Kotahi is 4.5m wide and has a 9m viewing platform in the centre.

The project was jointly funded by the NZ Transport Agency, the Palmerston North City Council and Powerco, with a total construction cost of $18.4 million.

Rangitāne challenges the Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter at the opening of He Ara Kotahi Friday afternoon.
Rangitāne challenges the Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter at the opening of He Ara Kotahi Friday afternoon.
Rangitāne challenges the Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter at the opening of He Ara Kotahi Friday afternoon.
Rangitāne challenges the Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter at the opening of He Ara Kotahi Friday afternoon.