Facelift for river entrance

Upgrade work weather dependent






Palmy residents and visitors will soon be able to rest their legs along the Manawatu¯ River shared pathway as the Albert St entrance is being upgraded. The new entrance will boast a wide concrete pathway, flower gardens, bollards, lighting, and a deck area with seating. Council contractors are setting up site this week and construction is expected to take about two months — but that’s weather dependent as the work relies on some dry days. This is the third river entrance to be upgraded in Palmerston North, alongside Victoria Esplanade and Ahimate Reserve. In total, there are six to be upgraded under the Manawatu¯ River Framework, parks and reserves manager Kathy Dever-Tod says. The seating is designed in the shape of an eel — a design that came from Rangita¯ne to represent the cultural significance of the nearby Hokowhitu Lagoon as a historical source of eel for Ma¯ori. The project was due to start in summer, but was delayed by contractor availability. “It has been funded from our previous years’ rates, not the rates year we’ve recently consulted on as part of the annual budget,” Dever-Tod says. “We’re keen to get this work done in winter, so the new entrance is ready for everyone this summer. We know this upgrade will make the entrance more functional for everyone, as well as making it safer by lighting the area.” The council is working with its contractors to ensure access to the river pathway during construction. The upgrade does not extend to the carpark, so people can still park their vehicles and take a stroll during the construction period. Residents in the area can still access their homes, and rubbish and recycling services will operate normally.