Three new footbridges delivered early by high school 'apprentices' in New Plymouth

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Story by Stuff Reporter Federico Magrin 

Three new wooden footbridges have been delivered one month ahead of schedule by the high school students who built them.

The bridges replaced old ones on the Mangati Walkway in Bell Block and Waimea Stream Reserve walk in New Plymouth.

Part of the Build a Bridge training partnership between New Plymouth District Council (NPDC), WITT and the building industry, the bridges were built by 22 students from six Taranaki secondary schools.

Last year, as part of the project, eight students built a bridge on the Huatoki Walkway near Camden St in New Plymouth.

This year, Build a Bridge produced three new footbridges that will make the two walkways safer, NPDC manager infrastructure projects Andrew Barron said.

After working on the project almost every Thursday over nine months, Inglewood High School students Coby Blair and Chance Johnston, both 16, are now training with construction firm Downer.

NZIHT School of Engineering, Energy and Infrastructure programme manager Jan Kivell said the project was an opportunity for students to get hands-on experience in civil infrastructure.

“It’s an exciting industry to be involved in, and by showing students just a small part of this we hope they not only find something they enjoy doing but realise this can be a rewarding career,” Kivell said.

Read the story here. 

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