Mayor Phil Goff and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have opened stage one of a shared path that will link Glen Innes and St Heliers, creating an important new transport route in east Auckland.
Children from Stonefields School were among the first to walk and cycle on section one of Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared Path - Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai (the path of land and sea) on Friday 9 December.
The 1.6km section runs beside fields used by Meadowbank Pony club, up the hill through Apirana Reserve and connects with St Johns Road near Sunhill Garden Centre.
Stage one of a 7km path
Jointly delivered by Auckland Transport and the NZ Transport Agency, the entire 7km path will be built in four sections and will ultimately connect Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive at Hobson Bay.
With funding from the Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme, the shared path will be used for local trips as well as connecting people with the city centre via Tamaki Drive.
The four-metre-wide concrete path has lighting throughout and has been designed to minimise gradients where possible.
Safe and scenic
This will be one of the safest scenic routes on which to cycle and walk, says Orakei councillor Desley Simpson.
"It's a real pleasure for me to see the realisation of the former Orakei Local Board's strong support for this project showcased today with the completion of this first section."
The path will be great for local people, says Kathryn King, AT Cycling, Walking and Safety manager.
"Increasingly, Aucklanders are choosing to cycle and take public transport as a means of transport. It is paths like this scenic route through the heart of East Auckland that will make it easier and safer to get around by bike and foot, especially for children.”
The Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive Shared path will be completed by late 2018.
Auckland Transport is working with project partners Auckland Council and the Government through the NZ Transport Agency and the Urban Cycleways Programme on a $200m programme of cycle improvements from 2015 to 2018.