Gorge walk inspires turning bay

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 29/01/2013

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The increasing popularity of the Manawatu Gorge's walking tracks has led to a right turning bay being installed for motorists.

Contractors spent the weekend repainting State Highway 3 to create the bay at the car park at the Ashhurst end of the Manawatu Gorge.

"Given the increasing popularity of the walking track, it's been our long-held intention to put in a right turn bay at this location, and we have been working closely with the Department of Conservation and landowner Tom Shannon to make this happen," NZ Transport Agency Palmerston North state highways manager David McGonigal said.

"The car park is not currently a high crash area. However, we have recognised that with the increasing popularity of the walking track, improving the turning area for people coming from Woodville is likely to realise future safety benefits and make the car park easier to access for people wishing to enjoy the track." Horizons Regional Council announced earlier this month that close to 800 people had accessed the Manawatu Gorge walking tracks from the Ashhurst end in the first three weeks after a new loop track was opened.

The track's construction was able to take place at a significant discount to DOC because of the need to cut a path to the top of the slip which closed SH3.

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- Manawatu Standard

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