Image of the 190m long He Ara Kotahi bridge with viewing platform in the centre, that connects the Victoria Esplanade in Palmerston North, to the other side of the Manawatū River.
The design inspiration for the bridge is a karaka tree, with its 'roots' in Dittmer Reserve, between the Esplanade and Ruha Street. People flying from Palmerston North to Christchurch will likely get the best view of the tree design. The Karaka design has strong links to the history of our iwi, Rangitāne.
The pathway is part of the 7.6km route which connects cyclists and pedestrians between Palmerston North and Linton Military Camp, Massey University and Food HQ. The name means a pathway that brings people together.
There are four other bridges along the path. Turitea Bridge is the closest to the city, followed by Farm Bridge. Both are 36 metres long and have three piles anchored 15 metres into the ground. The 10 metre long Greenwoods Bridge is towards the Linton end of the path. It was built in Horowhenua and trucked in for installation. This bridge connects to a raised boardwalk which lets you walk in the canopy of native trees. The last, Kahutarawa Bridge, is a suspension bridge like the the Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco. It is 45 metres long and connects the pathway to Linton Military Camp.
The project was a partnership between Palmerston North City Council, Massey University, Rangitāne, Horizons Regional Council, the New Zealand Army at Linton Military Camp and the New Zealand Transport Agency. NZTA funded $3 million of the $14.6 million cost of the project through the Urban Cycleway Programme. The remainder of the cost was split between the National Land Transport Fund, administered by NZTA, and Council. Powerco also contributed $500,000.