A sod turning event today has marked the start of a project to widen Gladstone Road bridge and create a shared path for safer walking and cycling.
The historic bridge will be widened by three metres to allow walkers and people on bikes to safely enter and exit the CBD on the downstream side of the bridge.
Tairāwhiti Roads General Manager Dave Hadfield says the project is part of Gisborne’s Urban Cycleways Programme, which aims to get more people on their bikes for everyday transport.
“With the path on schedule to open in summer, it’ll be perfect timing for cyclist and walkers to dust off their bike or dig out their sneakers and make the most of that Gisborne sunshine we’re all missing at the moment.”
“This is an exciting project and it will improve safety and accessibilty for those who use it, including our local children, who are leading the nation when it comes to Bikes in Schools programme.”
Tairāwhiti Roads is working with Heritage New Zealand on the bridge, due to its historical significance.
Originally built using wood in 1885, the current concrete bridge was opened in 1925 and was considered advanced for its time.
Because of its Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga status, the concrete balustrades will be replicated.
While at times the bridge may be reduced to one lane, it will remain open throughout the duration of the works. Pedestrians will have access across the bridge at all times.
Concrete Structures (NZ) Ltd has been awarded the contract, with the new shared path expected to be open to the public by January 2019.