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New Waikanae Creek bridge opened

19 December 2013

New Waikanae Creek bridge opened

Awapuni Students Jayden Knowles, Micah Langford and Mayor Meng Foon opened the new pedestrian bridge across Waikanae Creek on Thursday. The much anticipated bridge completes the Alfred Cox Cycle and Walkway linking Stanley Road and the information centre in Grey Street.

The 1.5km cycle and walkway is the latest development in Gisborne District Council’s programme to extend the city’s network of cycle and walkways. The bridge was blessed by Awapuni School Kaumatua Richard Rangihuna. Long time cycle and walkway advocates Nona Aston and Deputy Mayor Rehette Stoltz helped with the ribbon cutting. Awapuni School students sang and performed powhiri in celebration.

Council knows that the community wants cycle and walkways and we are committed to getting them built, said Mayor Meng Foon. “It is pleasing to see progress being made. The Alfred Cox route gives walkers and cyclists a new option to connect with city beaches, the inner harbour, our network of rivers and the city centre. It will also help to keep Awapuni School students safe and off the state highway.”

This is a long awaited day said Awapuni School principal David Langford at the opening. “Awapuni School has been quite isolated from its residential community. Now we are connected. The bridge and adjoining pathway is a lovely network for the people of Awapuni and the whole community. Alfred Cox Park is now accessible and will extend the places our students can use for activities. Already we are seeing more and more people using the area.”

The school is grateful to Councillor Brian Wilson, Mayor Meng Foon and previous Councillor Nona Aston, all who have been great supporters, pushing to get this project prioritised. About ten years ago it was put in the district plan so we knew it would happen one day. Things started to move when NZTA agreed to put $400k towards the project to help with congestion on Awapuni Road – the State Highway.”

“We are grateful for this and next year we will have a big push with parents encouraging them to use the Anzac Street entrance. A simple bridge will play a big role in keeping our kids safe and away from the heavy traffic on Awapuni Road.”

“We are also grateful to Council staff and a number of contractors including Bridge IT NZ who installed the 20 metre wooden bridge and Earthworks Solutions who constructed the concrete paths.

Car parking on Anzac Street will be installed in the New Year, seats will be installed along the pathway and there are plans in place to increase the amount of plantings in the area.

www.gdc.govt.nz

ENDS

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