The 2001 ford project didn’t intend to provide a dry access pathway to the beach. After all, it was a ford. Back in those days the lagoon also stretched to the north, and except in the height of summer, there was usually a depth of water in the crossing.
The ford was a vast improvement on beach access, but the difficulty for pedestrians was an issue. Getting to the beach was not only an activity for Koitiata residents, but also for an increasing numbers of visitors. And then the 2004 flood came and made getting to the beach a difficulty whether walking, riding or driving.
In 2004 a submission was made to RDC seeking help in the restoration and maintenance of the beach crossing. The appropriate authorities got together and came up with four options for beach access improvement, two of the options including a pedestrian bridge.
A community survey was conducted in October 2005 and the options which included the ‘wooden-floating-walkway-bridge’ found favour with residents. This was communicated to RDC and they undertook to arrange a resource consent and get the design stuff done. And then hey presto, a 2 metre module of the wooden bridge arrived for display at Market Day in October 2006.
It looked impressive, but issues still remained; who was going to pay for it (Rangitikei or Koitiata ratepayers?), and who would maintain it, (including recovery if it washed away)?
These issues were never resolved, but it didn’t matter because mother nature stepped up again and provided a solution. Eventually the top end of the lagoon filled up with sand and dried out and the ford disappeared.
The documents below record the story of the ‘just-about-a-bridge’. To access them use the OPEN buttons. If the site’s separate viewer window opens, it can be closed via your browser’s back arrow/command.
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