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Twin Bridges to Transform Te Henui Walkway's Accessibility

Tuesday 8 January 2013, 3:05PM

By New Plymouth District Council

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NEW PLYMOUTH

A difficult part of a popular New Plymouth walkway is about to be fixed with the aid of twin bridges.

Construction of the two bridges and a footpath on Te Henui Walkway will begin next week.

The new section will bypass two stairways on the walkway, making the off-road route accessible from the coast to Cumberland Street for those with limited mobility, pushchairs or bicycles.

“When this project is completed, people will have the choice of taking the flat route across the bridges or continuing on the established route to the historic Pukewarangi Pa site and the stairs alongside it,” says General Manager Infrastructure Jim Willson.

“The stairs have long been an access issue on this very popular walkway. Cyclists can walk their bikes alongside the steps but they are a barrier to those with prams or mobility scooters, and are difficult for anyone who is unsteady on their feet.

“It has taken years of planning, but with the support of Te Atiawa and the Department of Conservation we are able to create this alternative route which everyone can use.”

Each of the two shared-use bridges will be 18m long, and will be connected by a 100m path of compacted gravel which crosses between the historic Puketarata Pa and the area that was used as the pa’s garden. The twin bridges will look similar to the new Huatoki Walkway bridge which links to Sycamore Grove.

The upstream bridge on Te Henui Walkway will be just south of Spencer Place.

Construction will finish by the end of June. The walkway around the construction sites will remain open to the public for most of the time, however temporary closures will be necessary occasionally – the Council will publicise these closures on its website, Facebook page and Twitter feed.

This project is part of the Let’s Go programme with funding from NPDC and the NZ Transport Agency. More information is online at newplymouthnz.com/twinbridges.

Architect's design of twin bridges route (One page 3.5MB PDF)