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Piha footbridge opened

Piha footbridge opened

Waitakere Deputy
Mayor, Penny Hulse joins locals to walk across the new
“Story of an Eel” footbridge in Piha.
Click to enlarge

Waitakere Deputy Mayor, Penny Hulse joins locals to walk across the new “Story of an Eel” footbridge in Piha.

Media Release

October 3, 2008

Piha footbridge opened

Piha’s new eel-inspired footbridge is finally enjoying the pitter-patter of many feet.

Waitakere City Council’s deputy mayor, Penny Hulse, recently opened the ‘Story of the Eel’ footbridge, joining local residents to be among the first to set foot on the award-winning structure.

Under construction for the past few months, the bridge runs over the Piha Stream and links the Piha Domain to South Piha Beach. Piha Domain is a focal point for the community and visitors and the new bridge provides a key access way to the beach.

It replaces an ageing timber bridge that was nearing the end of its life. However, a link to the past remains, with one of the timber piles from the old bridge installed at the side of the new structure to act as the post for a sign on the bridge’s artistic interpretation.

The concept of the new bridge was created by Piha artist Mandy Patmore and represents migratory eel, celebrating the long and short fin eels that still live in the Piha Stream.

Its winding eel-like shape is combined with a floor surface inlayed with motifs representing the different stages of the eel’s life cycle.

The council worked closely with Piha residents to ensure the final design was both functional and in keeping with the rugged coastal environment.

The bridge proved to be a winner before its official opening, winning the New Zealand Recreation Association’s Outstanding Project Award for 2008.

The judges praised the council for the holistic approach it took to the project and going that extra mile to make the bridge interesting.

The Piha footbridge is one of five ‘art’ bridges throughout the Waitakere which integrate art with modern infrastructure. Others include the Rewarewa footbridge in New Lynn, a bridge over the Opanuku Stream in Henderson and McLeods Crossing, also in Henderson. Another is planned for Tui Glen.

“This innovative, award-winning bridge continues to demonstrate the integration of functional art into parks projects, resulting in a bridge that is practical and beautiful,” says Councillor Hulse.


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