Whanganui East residents, logging truck drivers and cyclists stand to gain from Whanganui District Council's $39 million transport safety programme over the next three years.
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has approved the council's 2021-24 safety projects, which include replacing the Wakefield St overbridge and the clip-on walking and cycling path on Aramoho Railway Bridge, and Erni's Bridge on Kauarapaoa Rd.
The funding includes almost $10m in Waka Kotahi subsidies for the bridge work.
It was great news because the bridge projects were not easy, council senior roading engineer Brent Holmes said.
The Wakefield St bridge, for example, crosses over an operational railway yard.
The council has been seeking Waka Kotahi funding to replace the Wakefield St bridge since 2014. Residents opposed closing the bridge, which is weak. It has instead remained open, with weight and speed restrictions.
Its replacement would be a relief to many Whanganui East residents, mayor Hamish McDouall said.
The replacement of Erni's Bridge (Bridge 15) on Kauarapaoa Rd is set for the next calendar year. The bridge, which was damaged in the 2015 flood, carries logging trucks and needs renewal to enable it to carry 72 tonne weights.
The Wakefield St and Aramoho Railway Bridge clip-on replacements are set to take place in the 2022-23 year.
Other safety improvements are planned around the Gonville, Kaitoke, Aranui, Faith City, St Mary's and St George's schools, and a footpath extension for Mosston School.
The council was also successful in a bid for new shared pathways to be built over the next three years at a total cost of $3.958m. They will allow safer transport alternatives, promote healthier lifestyles and reduce fossil fuel use - tying in with the council's climate change strategy.
One of them will be part of the Mountains to Sea Cycle Trail - the final section between Gilberd St and North Mole. The others are on Somme Pde from the Dublin St Bridge to Field St, from Fitzherbert Ave to Heads Rd, from Mosston Rd to Manuka St and from London St to Brooking St.
Whanganui cycling advocate Margi Keys said that sounded "brilliant" in principle, though she hadn't seen the maps.
"I'm all for extended cycleways and shared pathways."
However, she would like more education for the public on using shared pathways. Some pedestrians were not good about listening out for bells and allowing cyclists to pass, she said.
The council's total package for maintenance, operations and renewals under Waka Kotahi's Land Transport Programme 2021-24 is $39.34m.