More than a thousand people came out to celebrate the opening of the Te Awa River Ride and the stunning new Perry Bridge. This section completes a project which now sees a river-side cycleway connecting Ngaruawahia with the Hamilton Gardens.
The trail between the Ngaruawahia Golf Club and the Horotiu Bridge creates an uninterrupted 25km cycle path linking Ngaruawahia with the southern end of Hamilton City. The project was initiated by the Te Awa River Ride Charitable Trust in 2010 and this northern section has been funded by the NZ Transport Agency, Waikato District Council and more than a dozen community funders.
The highlight of this section is the new Perry Bridge, a 130m long, 3m wide and 18m high network arch bridge stretching across the Waikato River. The bridge design has an exposed structure and many crossing cables anchored to the deck, resembling a giant loom with a warp ready to be weaved. To modernize this idea, a vibrant green was chosen as a graphic pop art take on the traditional flax weave. The deck itself has a modern flax design with an innovative glow in the dark blue resin.
Students from schools either side of the river have designed and produced stunning mosaics to sit in perpetuity alongside the landmark structure. Students from Ngaruawahia High School and Horotiu Primary School guided by Ngaruawahia artist, Tracy Huirama-Osborne, have spent several months developing the artwork. This will be installed before the end of the year.