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New bridge to be cast over Sulphur Lake tomorrow

New bridge to be cast over Sulphur Lake tomorrow

A 40 year old footbridge has not only been given a new lease of life but will also breathe new life into the inner city as part of Rotorua District Council’s planned sculpture and leisure trail.

The council is erecting a 26 metre bridge over Sulphur Lake in Government Gardens - also known as the Casting Pool - tomorrow (28 May) at 7am. It is to be named ‘The Memorial Bridge’ in honour of WWI soldiers.

The $50,000 bridge has been constructed from the old pine footbridge previously located on Utuhina Stream along Lake Road. It was pulled down and placed in storage during the recent Lake Road four-laning project.

Councillor Karen Hunt, portfolio lead of the council’s Inner City Revitalisation strategy, said the recycled beams were in beautiful condition which helped keep costs down, while adding to the heritage factor of the project. A sculpture trail is also envisaged for the location.

“It’s already shaping up to be a lovely, picturesque spot for a picnic. We’ll be looking at opportunities for the wider community to have input, including our up-and-coming carvers and sculptors, to help breathe new life into the area.”

Ms Hunt said the healing geothermal waters of the Sulphur Lake were originally used in the early 1900s as a place of convalescence for soldiers returning from the First World War. In later years it was used to practice fly fishing casting and given the name the ‘Casting Pool.’

“As the area was originally designed as a place of tranquillity and stimulation, it’s quite fitting that now, 100 years later, it’s going to be transformed back to its original purpose, and in time for Rotorua’s 100 year commemorations of the Gallipoli landings.”

Council staff will transport the bridge to the Sulphur Lake at Government Gardens tomorrow (28 May) at 7am, where a crane will lift it into place.


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