The Manawatu River is the biggest obstacle when travelling north-south through the Horowhenua. It can be reasonably safely crossed on the Shannon-Foxton Road, and there is a bridge on State Highway 1 just south of Foxton.
The bridge itself is narrow, and has no verges for cyclists. So if you’re crossing it on a bicycle you look over your shoulder for trucks and cars and pedal like buggery to try to cross the short span before your loved ones receive flowers.
I know according to the NZTA, the New Zealand public and the National-led national government cyclists should cherish every day they are not run over by a truck, but geez it really is a crap situation.
There may be a Dutch influence on the Horowhenua, and it seems there is to be a new Dutch Settlers Museum being built in Foxton, but it hasn’t translated into safe cycling infrastructure.
Here is the dangerous bridge from the underneath on the south side:
And here is the river looking upstream from the same spot:
It seems like a perfect spot to put in a cyclists bridge, or one of these (as highlighted in this post of mine):
Because at the moment here is what the bridge is like (taken from the passenger seat of my car, because it is too dangerous to ride it on a bike taking pictures). This is the southern entrance to the bridge:
And here is on the bridge itself showing a concrete wall to get crushed against:
In contrast to the danger of the bridge the Whirokino Trestle across the Moutoa Floodway immediately north of the river has a safe cycle route across the flood plain:
Riding across the bridge I feel like a
What can be done about it? I know there are plenty of unsafe bridges on the state highway network, and it’s not the only one without a practical alternative route, but the traffic is really heavy, and Levin and Foxton aren’t that far apart. So can we start with providing a safe alternative for cyclists on this bridge please?
We cyclists get a pretty raw deal.