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5 August 2020

The Wairarapa Trails Action Group and Greytown Trails Trust are delighted at today’s funding announcement made by Hon Julie Anne Genter, which will see the construction of the Five Towns Trail Tauherenikau Suspension Bridge get underway within the next 6-12 months.

The $1M funding was granted after a successful application from Wairarapa Trails Action Group and Greytown Trails Trust as part of the government’s funding scheme for shovel ready infrastructure projects in response to the impact of Covid-19.

The Wairarapa Trails Action Group and Greytown Trails Trust have been working collaboratively with the three Wairarapa councils and in conjunction with Trust House, on a Five Town Trails Network master plan to develop a region-wide recreation trail linking the five main Wairarapa towns.

The Five Towns Network Trail Network plan includes the suspension bridge and associated trails to create an important link between Featherston and Woodside/ Greytown, as well as creating a link on a regional scale to Wellington City via the Remutaka Cycle Trail. The proposed suspension bridge designed by Martin Wilson from Abseil Access, will have a span of 150m and steel towers over 17m high, and will be braced off the existing rail bridge 7m downstream.

Greytown Trails Trust representative Shane Atkinson said the funding of our bridge construction was fantastic news for our local communities and the wider Wairarapa.

“The off-site and on-site construction work will create 28 jobs and the finished bridge will create physical, social and cultural linkages between the adjacent communities of Featherston and Greytown.

“It’s a tribute to many committed individuals and supportive organisations that we’ve arrived at this point.”

Wairarapa Trails Action Group Chair Greg Lang said a lot of work had gone into this collaborative project to get it to this stage.

“The connection which will be created by the Tauherenikau Suspension Bridge will provide opportunities for more people to enjoy the remarkable scenery and trails Wairarapa has to offer,” said Lang.

“This bridge will be one of the largest of its kind in New Zealand and fits extremely well with the work underway for the Five Towns Trail Network project.”

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said he was delighted to hear the funding for the bridge had been approved.

“We see huge benefit in the continued development of our cycle trails, and a key component of linking districts is the bridge over the Tauherenikau River, and the trails leading to it.

“South Wairarapa District Council remains committed to this project into the future and looks forward also to approval of its own submitted projects.”

The next step will be to begin construction once necessary consents have been obtained.

Click here for the media statement from Hon Julie Anne Genter’s office.