Wanaka swing bridge divides opinion

The bridge would need to be between 100 and 140 metres depending on its exact location, and would look something like this 148m bridge on the Heaphy Track in the Kahurangi National Park


The Upper Clutha Tracks Trust (UCTT) is asking the public for feedback on a potential cycle and footbridge over the Clutha River and opinions are already divided.

The UCTT made the request on its Facebook page and strong opposing views have been aired, with some welcoming the idea and others raising concerns over the expense and its effect on the location’s picturesque views.

The bridge would be built just downstream from the Outlet and would span 100-140 metres. It would aim to provide a key new link in the Upper Clutha track network, giving easy access to Dublin Bay and the Deans Bank Tracks.

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Image: Upper Clutha Tracks Trust

The bridge could also provide easier access from Wanaka Township to Dublin Bay and the tracks on the left of the Clutha River, reducing the distance from the log cabin to Dublin Bay from 19km to 11.5km.

John Wellington, treasurer of the Upper Clutha Tracks Trust, pointed out the significant distance the bridge could save walkers, but said that feedback was vital before anything is decided.

“The bridge would form a key link and make Dublin Bay more accessible for walkers and families. On a bike, 7.5km isn’t far, but it’s a lot for people on a walk.

“But we’re not just going to build this bridge come what may - we just want to see what people think. We’re putting the idea out there and in a couple of weeks we’ll think more.”

John also said that they had mainly heard from cyclists so far and he hoped that more walkers would join the discussion.

Cover image:  The bridge would need to be between 100 and 140 metres depending on its exact location, and would look something like this 148m bridge on the Heaphy Track in the Kahurangi National Park

Anyone wishing to offer their views can visit Upper Clutha Tracks Trust on Facebook

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