Construction is beginning on one of Auckland's biggest cycling and walking projects, which will improve connections for people travelling through the Auckland suburbs of Mt Albert and Waterview.
The first sod was turned on February 5, by Mayor Len Brown, Albert-Eden Local Board member Margi Watson and the Hon. Paula Bennett representing the NZ Government, on the path in the grounds of Metro Football Club in Phyllis St Reserve.
It was attended by representatives from the organisations collaborating to fund and deliver the path as well as members of the local community.
The 3.5 metre wide shared cycling and walking path follows Te Auaunga (Oakley Creek) between the Alan Wood Reserve in Mt Albert and Great North Rd in Waterview and will be a convenient way to access local parks, sports grounds, and the Unitec campus.
Walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities will easily be able to access the shared path as it includes low hill gradients to assist prams and elderly people to use it.
The scenic route travels through an area of Mahoe forest and includes three bridges. The bridge crossing Oakley Creek, connecting Great North Road and Unitec, will be 90 metres long, a similar length to Grafton Bridge in the city centre.
The Government, through the NZ Transport Agency, together with Auckland Transport (AT) and Albert Eden Local Board have contributed funding for the project which will be built by the Well Connected Alliance (WCA), which is delivering the $1.4 billion Waterview Connection project.
More travel options for local communities
Albert-Eden Local Board member, Margi Watson, says the shared path gives the local communities of Owairaka, Mt Albert, New Windsor, Avondale, Waterview and Point Chevalier real transport options that aren’t about being in a car.
“It’s what these communities fought so hard to get and now it is underway, so it’s a day for celebration.
"It will help locals get easily and safely to open spaces. This transport project is about good local parks and transport choices, but it is also for all Aucklanders to enjoy.
“Local landowners, community groups and iwi have remained involved in the design of the bridges to get the best outcome possible. They will be big, but beautiful,” she says.
Creating a city with better travel options is all part of the government and its partners’ strategy to improve the transport network says the Transport Agency’s Auckland Regional Director, Ernst Zollner.
“Providing improved infrastructure for people to cycle is an important part of improving the transport network and helping achieve our goal of 30 per cent more cycle trips in urban areas by 2019,” he says.
Through the Government’s Urban Cycleways Programme, Auckland Council, the NZ Transport Agency and AT are delivering $200 million of cycling improvements in Auckland over the next three years.