Ashhurst-to-city path gets closer
The first steps in linking Ashhurst to Palmerston North with a shared cycleway and pedestrian path along the banks of the Manawatu River have begun.
The first landowner downstream of the bridge at Ashhurst has cleared access for city council staff to the river side, fences will soon be erected to draw the boundary line, and track formation will begin.
Council transportation planner Sandi Morris said the owners of the property had been "incredibly supportive" of the plan, and negotiations with the next two owners were progressing well.
The goal is to complete those talks, secure the route, and to form the path and coat it in limestone as far as Raukawa Rd before winter.
Site meetings had been held with Horizons Regional Council staff to ensure the construction plan protects the river, and talks with local iwi also have to be finalised.
Ms Morris said the planning and negotiations were the time-consuming part of the task.
Once agreements were signed off, track construction could be finished within a few weeks.
The council had $400,000 in this year's budget to make progress on the project, and was planning to spend $378,000 next year.
It has bought a Te Matai Rd property to provide the next link from the road to the future pathway, but has several more property owners to deal with before the next section of the path can be developed.
The long-term plan is to link the path from Ashhurst to Riverside Dr in the city, where the bridle path extending from Maxwells Line and around the outskirts of the urban part of Palmerston North ends.