A late change to the height of the new cycle bridge between Upokongaro and Papaiti is delaying its placement.

The abutment on the Papaiti side has been raised 800mm, to keep it above the floods expected as a result of climate change. That has meant an amended resource consent, and consultation.

The consent is awaiting "affected party sign off" under the Te Awa Tupua legislation, Whanganui District Council property manager Leighton Toy says. Under the legislation Te Pou Tupua and local hapū have to be involved in any new structure or activity on the Whanganui River.

"All parties involved in the consultation want to ensure we establish really good, agreed processes under this relatively new legislation and discussions are progressing well," Toy said.


The bridge can't be put in place until the consent is final. Timing of the placement will also depend on weather and other factors. Two weeks' notice will be given before the installation, because Papaiti Rd will have to be closed.

The bridge and cycle path were to have been in place in April, completing a "missing link" in the Mountains to Sea cycle trail that starts on Mount Ruapehu and ends at North Mole.

There are other pieces to finish as well. An underpass at Upokongaro will link cyclists with the new bridge, and sealing is underway on the cycle path from the bridge to Flemington Rd.

Between Flemington Rd and Dublin St the council's infrastructure team will mark a cycle lane on Somme Pde.

The very end of the trail is also unfinished. It's waiting on work to revitalise Whanganui's port, including rock armouring work yet to be done by Horizons Regional Council.

From Gilberd St to North Mole the trail will eventually run alongside a new rock-armoured platform.