Construction is starting on one of Auckland’s biggest ever walking and cycling projects, connecting Auckland’s eastern suburbs to the Waitematā Harbour.
A dawn blessing this morning and sod-turning ceremony this afternoon mark the start of the construction phase of the new Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path. The joint project is delivered by the NZ Transport Agency and Auckland Transport and has received funding from the Government’s Urban Cycleway Programme.
The 7.3km off-road shared path will allow people to walk, run or cycle from Auckland’s eastern suburbs to the city centre via Tāmaki Drive. The route starts at Merton Rd, Glen Innes and follows the rail line through the Glen Innes Train Station to Tāmaki Drive connecting local communities with public transport. The $40m project will be constructed in four stages from October 2015 until 2018.
Mayor Len Brown says the project is another exciting step towards creating a city where people feel safe to walk and ride to work, study or just to get around.
“Working with our partners, Auckland Transport and NZTA, we are creating major improvements for people cycling and walking. This shared path will provide better travel options for people who come into the city daily and will be another step towards easing traffic congestion.”
Auckland Transport’s Walking and Cycling Manager, Kathryn King, says it is a stunning route with magnificent views which will act as the backbone of Auckland’s growing cycle network in this part of Auckland.
“More Aucklanders are choosing to cycle and this shared path will help grow that number. It will enable people to connect with future cycle routes in Glen Innes and along Tāmaki Drive. Making cycling a more safe and viable option improves the transport network for all Aucklanders – a key priority for the project partners,” she says.
The first earthworks are due to get underway from 21 October 2015, with the first stage from Merton Road to St Johns Road due to be finished in late 2016.
The Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path is being partly funded through a $10 million investment from the Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme (UCP). The UCP is a partnership between Local and Central Government which will help accelerate key projects over the next three years to establish cycling as an integral part of Auckland’s transport network.
Auckland Transport, Auckland Council and the New Zealand Transport Agency are working together on a three year $200 million programme of investment in cycling to make it safer and more convenient to travel by bike.
- The path will be around four metres wide and constructed mostly in concrete. Timber boardwalks will cross the water at Orakei Basin and concrete will be used for longer structures such as the proposed Hobson Bay crossing. The path will be safe and convenient for use by people on foot or on bike.
- LED lighting will extend hours of access, particularly during winter months.
- The route’s geography is hilly in places, but the design of the path will keep gradients as low as possible.