Bridge connects Greenslade to the rest of Raglan

Greenslade Rd residents will soon connect to the rest of Raglan with a new walkway and bridge.

Part of the district wide new footpaths programme in the Waikato District Council Long Term Plan 2018/28, the walkway replaces the existing informal path that was a boggy pit during wet weather.

With a projected cost of $400,000, the walkway trails along a former paper road at the end of Greenslade Rd taking pedestrians over a wooden bridge, through to the Nikau Park subdivision and out to Lorenzen Bay Rd.

Providing residents with a safe, useable pedestrian accessway, the walkway has been designed to improve pedestrian connectivity in Raglan.

Previously, the residents of  Greenslade Rd didn’t have safe pedestrian connection to Lorenzen Bay and the rest of Raglan. The paper road had an existing informal path but that was difficult to use in winter or wet weather.

Concrete work for the walkway was completed while funding was available in the last financial year. 

The boardwalk was delayed awaiting resource consent to build the bridge across the stream, which was issued this month. 

The bridge has been designed to protect the stream that a local group, led by freshwater scientist and wetland specialist Dr Bex Eivers, spent around nine years restoring.

Since starting the restoration project, Bex says, they have planted the stream and surrounding area with wetland plants, installed electric fences to keep out the cows and removed a fence going through the stream.

The area had previously been neglected by the council and when Bex got word about a residential development in the farmland above the stream she ramped up her restoration work, including fish surveys, working bees and educational experiences for local children.

“I really made it known that it was a wetland with a stream running through it and it had ecological value.”

Bex says that work led to council rezoning the paper road as a greenspace.

Affectionately known as the Lorenzen Bay stream, it runs into Lorenzen Bay, and Bex says due to impacts of climate change, bringing droughts and short spells of intense rain, there is erosion occurring where the stream meets the bay.

The council no longer have plans to build a road between Greenslade Rd and Lorenzen Bay due to significant topographical constraints.

Janine Jackson