Posted by on 03/03/2014
The Waikino community celebrated the Grand Opening of the Waikino Memorial Bridge last Saturday.
The weather could not have been better and was a perfect complement to the dedicated vision and work the local people put into bridging the gap between the Waikino Hamlet and the Hauraki Rail Trail.
The Waikino Liaison Society worked hard to raise the funds to replace the historic swing bridge that was washed away in the devastating 1981 flood, and after project manager, Dianne Kiernan thanked all those who played a part in making the bridge a reality, Hauraki Mayor John Tregidga along with local identity John Wilson had the pleasure of cutting the yellow ribbon to allow locals and visitors to cross the Ohinemuri River.
The new bridge will allow easy access to the Victoria Battery and the Hauraki Rail Trail from State Highway 2 and itâ€™s hoped the bridge will provide an opportunity for local small businesses to flourish from the increased access to the Waikino Village, and that other small businesses will be developed to complement the area.
Waikino Village School children performed a haka and waiata and led the procession of dignitaries and public along the trail from the Victoria Battery site to the new bridge for the ribbon cutting ceremony.
The children let bright yellow balloons go free along the route which floated up and away into a gloriously blue sky.
Shona Laing, who is proud to call Waikino home, delighted the crowd at the bridge, performing a new song which she created using words from an old local poem.