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He Ara Kotahi bridge officially opened

Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith, Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter, Wiremu Te Aweawe of Rangatāne and Massey Deputy Vice-Chancellor Operations Stuart Morriss.

Students and staff will have a more scenic way to travel between Palmerston North and the University’s Manawatū campus on the new He Ara Kotahi bridge.

Rangitāne blessed Palmerston North’s first dedicated cycling and walking bridge at dawn today. The bridge and 7km-plus pathway, which connects the city with Massey, the neighbouring Fitzherbert Science Centre and Linton Military Camp, was officially opened in the afternoon by Associate Transport Minister Julie-Ann Genter and Palmerston North Mayor Grant Smith.

The opening comes almost five years after the Palmerston North City Council commissioned a report into potential locations for a second bridge to cross the Manawatū River. The 194m bridge stretches from Dittmer Drive to the new pathway, which connects with Dairy Farm Rd. Users have the option to travel 1.5km to Massey University or 5km to Linton.

Sustainability director Dr Allanah Ryan says the opening of the bridge contributes to the University’s wellbeing and sustainability strategies.

“We want to get staff and students out of their cars and using sustainable forms of transport to get to and from campus,” Dr Ryan says. “Providing a safe crossing for sustainable modes of transport will encourage the uptake of walking and cycling. This not only helps reduce the University’s environmental impact but is also beneficial to health and wellbeing.”

The $19 million project was funded by the New Zealand Government Urban Cycleways Programme, the New Zealand Transport Agency, the council and Powerco. Rangitāne, Massey, the Horizons Regional Council and the New Zealand Defence Force have been key partners in the project.

The bridge and 7km-plus pathway connects the city with Massey

He Ara Kotahi bridge