Bush Telegraph - 2021-10-11


Pahiatua's town icon not a bridge too far


Steve Carle

Pahiatua’s town bridge is in need of a facelift and perhaps special lighting, according to Tararua District councillor Shirley Hull. “After being at the opening of He Ara Kotahi, Palmerston North and seeing the way the walking/cycle bridge was embraced by the community, I realised our Pahiatua Town Bridge had so much more potential than we have utilised. “The town bridge is getting on in years (over 90 years old). This iconic bridge should be central to the town’s personality, a tourist attraction in its own right — but first it needs to look like it is loved. “The town bridge has been abandoned, unloved and uncleaned for many, many years. The community are focused on the Main St Upgrade, rightly so, but if we could bring the bridge into focus more, this main artery into Pahiatua could enliven and enrich its community too. “I would like to see the reinvigoration thus: Full clean (taking the environment into consideration). Full maintenance check (this has been done by NZTA recently.) Lighting (LED) project. “Internal and external tourism in New Zealand has taken walking/cycling to heart. These are popular activities and we have the means to ‘join’ our bridges by creating beautiful walkways along our river, especially north to the Mangatainoka Bridge. “I know Pahiatua On Track has been wanting to do this for years, this is a large project and it will need council support to drive this through. “Access to the Mangatainoka River via a concrete stepped access would give greater, safer access for the community. Community have a right to have a relationship with their river. This relationship will in due course manifest to greater care and attention to the river’s health and wellbeing.”


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