It's a moment a lot of people have been waiting for - a new bridge between Papaiti and Upokongaro will be moved into place as soon as next month.

There will be lots of warning before the big event, Whanganui District Council project manager Rick Grobecker said. Papaiti Rd will have to be closed to residents further inland during the move, and that will require two weeks' notice.

The 130m long bridge is part of the Mountains to Sea/Ngā Ara Tuhono cycleway, moving cyclists to the Whanganui River's west bank for the final few kilometres to journey's end at North Mole.

It could be moved across the river from Papaiti by cranes, or by tensioned wires, but Grobecker guesses it will be floated across on a barge.


The bridge's Papaiti abutment has been made. The one on the Upokongaro side has yet to be started.

Part of the $2.3 million project is a 3km cycle track between the bridge and Flemington Rd. The alignment for that is complete.

The track will have a shellrock base, with sealing added in a month or so, Grobecker said.

The bridge is being built by Emmetts Civil Construction, and the track by B Bullock.

The project is jointly funded by Whanganui District Council, the NZ Transport Agency and the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment.