The development of the new bridge moved a step closer after Palmerston North City Council's finance and performance committee chose the location for the new bridge. The committee’s decision will now go to the full council for final approval next week.

In February, project consultant Opus International had identified three possible stretches of river wher the bridge could be built. The latest decision narrows the position to a 400m zone in one of the three locations.

The bridge is a component of the 6.6km He Ara Kotahi shared pathway project linking Palmerston North city, Massey University and the military camp at Linton.

He Ara Kotahi project chair Ray Swadel said that his team narrowed down the location after analysing different site options and listening to the views of the community. “We will soon start developing a detailed business case for the bridge between Katene and Ruha Streets. Over the next two to three months we will be working on determining the exact location within that zone, design options and costs.”

He Ara Kotahi or “a pathway that brings people together” is a partnership between Horizons Regional Council, Massey University, the New Zealand Army at Linton Military Camp, the New Zealand Transport Agency, Palmerston North City Council and Rangitane.

A final recommendation will be made to the Council’s planning and policy committee on 1 August.

The US$6.8 million project is part of the government’s $226 million urban cycleways programme.