Local community engagement demonstrated local support for developing additional recreational options, and WSP’s designers saw an opportunity to develop the new Karaka Bridge and pathway to connect with existing pathways and form a new walking-cycling loop. Taking this concept further still, they incorporated facilities for cycles and adaptive spaces into the design.
The new facility now boasts an adaptive area on the true-right (city) bank that can be used to stage sports, events, or overflow carparking.
The goal of He Ara Kotahi was to provide a safer and more direct route for people to travel to work and educational centres east of the river.
The design has achieved this and more. The careful approach led to cost savings, including the use of low maintenance, pre fabricated beams, reduced piles in the river, and construction from the river bed to avoid costly formwork.
It encourages locals to choose to cycle, with sections of the route providing safe access away from the high-speed traffic along the state highway. It also draws more people to the river for recreational activities, which was a goal in both the Manawatū River Leaders’ Accord and the Manawatū River Framework.
This pathway truly brings the people together providing a safe, direct and beautiful walking and cycling super highway connection to Massey University Campus (18,000 students & staff) and Linton Army base (2,100 staff).
Since the bridge and pathway had over 100,000 users within its first four months of operation peaking at 7,000 users in one day. A year since opening, the NZ Herald reported this number had reached 600,000.