After four months of repair work, the walk and cycleway linking Tauranga city with the Matapihi Peninsula has reopened.
Tauranga Mayor Stuart Crosby opened the walkway across the Matapihi Rail Bridge at a dawn service in Matapihi yesterday. A kaumatua said a karakia as the group walked to the city.
Mount Maunganui College kaupapa Maori leader Dayarnn Nowell, 17, said the walk was "beautiful" and the bridge seemed a lot safer.
The bridge, which takes about five minutes to walk across, is used daily by about 200 walkers and cyclists, mostly Matapihi residents.
The ramps at each end of the bridge were also upgraded and the handrails replaced with higher ones. Most of the work was done using a special platform that hung under the bridge.
The bridge is 88 years old. The pathway was added in the late 1950s after people walking on the railway tracks were killed or injured.