Volunteers from Woodville School, the Woodville Lions Club and Meridian Energy joined members of the public on Saturday, 18 January, for a guided walk along the route of the NZ Transport Agency’s Manawatū Gorge Road replacement, Te Ahu a Turanga – Manawatū Tararua Highway.
Around 700 people took part in the walk, which was a fundraiser for an upgrade of the school’s playground and other Lions community betterment projects in the area. The adventurous trek included a tough climb from the Ashhurst end of the route, steep descents through Boltons’ Farm, and a scenic traverse through Meridian Energy’s Te Apiti Wind Farm.
Walk coordinator Paul Cleghorn said he was very pleased with the results, noting the fantastic support from NZ Transport Agency and Meridian Energy with pre-event organisation and volunteers on the day.
‘It was a bit of a task,’ he added, ‘but we managed to get the route well marked with warratah standards and road cones to give walkers an idea of what is proposed. It was evident that all were surprised at the huge amount of earthmoving and related work that will be a feature of the new road’s construction.’
The event was another positive outcome for a village community that really does know what it’s like to live in the slow lane. Te Ahu a Turanga, the new Manawatū-Tararua Highway promises to be so much more than ‘just a new road’.