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Bridge gifted to Brook Waimārama Sanctuary Trust

The former Saltwater Creek Bridge will get a new lease of life in the upper reaches of the Brook Stream.

At a Council meeting on Thursday, 18 March, the Council agreed to gift the bridge to the Brook Waimārama Sanctuary Trust.

Initially situated in Rutherford Park, the New Zealand Army built the bridge in the early 1990s as a work experience exercise and gifted it to Nelson.

The narrow bridge was replaced in 2019, as part of Council’s work to improve the connection between the city and the sea. The new, architecturally designed and award-winning bridge is three-metres wide, making it easier for cyclists and pedestrians using the Maitai/Mahitahi River Walkway to navigate.

The old bridge has remained in storage as Nelson City Council surplus while a search for alternative locations took place.

The Brook Waimārana Sanctuary Trust requested the bridge and intends to split it and install it as two or three footbridges across the Brook Stream within the Sanctuary.

Brook Waimārama Trust Sanctuary Chief Executive Ru Collin said: “The former Saltwater Creek Bridge will be put to great use in the Brook Waimārama Sanctuary as a much-needed improvement to existing stream crossings along the walking track network.

“The donation will improve the visitor experience of accessing some of our more challenging walking tracks and allow our visitors and volunteers to see more of the Sanctuary.”

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said, “gifting the former Saltwater Creek Bridge to a community Trust who plan to reuse and repurpose it for the benefit of our wider community and visitors is exactly the kind of action a Smart Little City should take. I hope to see the old bridge in action in its new location very soon.”

The Trust must obtain all necessary consents for the bridge, collect and transport it to the Sanctuary, cut, install and maintain the bridge at its own cost. Mr Collin said the Trust would be relying on volunteers to help with much of this work, and offers of assistance had already come in.

The bridge is expected to be installed in the Sanctuary before the end of the year.

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