Tuesday, September 2, 2014

WHANGAREI, NEW ZEALAND - The Best Little City In The World - Gets A New Lifting Bridge And Circular Pathway

Little old Whangarei has a new "Internationally iconic structure" - And we may become known in this neck of the woods as "Whangarei - City of Bridges". Which to my mind is a good thing because to become a 'City of Bridges you first have to 'Build Bridges' - something which has a nice positive symbolic quality to it on a number of levels.
When this new lifting bridge (Above) is combined with the new footbridge (Below)  a new circular 4 kilometer walk / cycleway will have been created. The new footbridge which will be officially opened this month is slightly upstream from the large lifting bridge in the above photograph. The above photograph was taken at this bridges opening and the little footbridge had not begun construction. If it had been completed when this photo was taken it would have been clearly seen bridging the water on the left where the river divides.
The walk / cycleway includes the bridge in the Whangarei Town Basin (Below), the new footbridge (Immediately Above), the new lifting bridge and new walk/cycle paths that have been established on both sides of the Hatea river.
The whole construction of this new 4 kilometer pathway is so new I can't find an aerial photograph anywhere on the Internet that shows the completed bridges.

I personally feel a palpable sense of completion regarding this new path. These two new bridges complete a circle and give a new heart to the center of our great little city. Since my heart operation I have been walking sections of the path as often as possible. Since retirement I walk my favourite part from the town basin, past the good yacht 'Mariner' to the new footbridge nearly every day. When the footbridge is finally opened I will cycle the 4 kilometer pathway as many times as I feel I want too, as many times a week as I can for exercise.... and with the growing 'bicycle culture' that is taking off in Whangarei, I am sure that I will not be alone.

Every time I walk, sometimes by myself, sometimes with Christine, I don't think there has been a time when I haven't met someone I know, struck up a conversation with someone I don't know or just smiled and said 'Hi' to other passing pedestrians - The path has become a bit of a 'boardwalk' and I get the feeling that this path is one of the significant places where Whangareis' sense of community will be shared and expressed in the coming years.
 Good on yah Whangarei - you're a bloody legend.

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