New swing bridge opens in Akatarawa Forest Park

  • Published Date 27 Oct 2022

Akatarawa amblers are swinging into summer following the opening of a brand-new swing bridge in Greater Wellington’s Akatarawa Forest Park.

Opened last weekend for Labour Day, the $192,000 bridge swings high above Clarks Creek, part of the track that enables walking access to Birchville Dam from Bridge Road.

Rated for a loading of 10 people at a time, the bridge spans 30 metres and took just six weeks to build during the Wellington region’s wettest winter on record.

Akatarawa Forest Park ranger Thane Walls says replacement of the former bridge on the site was brought forward as it was nearing the end of its life.

“We were faced with the decision whether to refurbish or replace the bridge, which was due a formal inspection next year. But after 34 years of service replacement was the better option, both from a cost effectiveness and amenity perspective.

“We’ve been able to widen the bridge, making crossing or viewing available for people in wheelchairs or using pushchairs and enabling plant and equipment to use the bridge en-route to track maintenance – which saves time and therefore money.

”Whoever uses the bridge, when crossing it they’ll be able to follow the Fantails or pursue the Pīwakawaka, as the native bird’s motif is subtly attached to the bridge and leads the way across.”

New Akatarawa swingbridge

Updated October 27, 2022 at 3:11 PM

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