People walking and cycling between Featherston and Greytown, or along Wellington’s Eastern Bays will soon have a safe shared path, as part of a $220 million shovel-ready cycleways package announced by Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter.
“During lockdown we saw many more families and kids out on their bikes, which shows that when our streets feel safe to cycle people want to ride,” said Julie Anne Genter.
“In Wellington, three quarters of people said they’d ride a bike more if protected bike lanes, separated from traffic, were installed. The Eastern Bays Shared Path will make that possible.
“That means more kids biking to school, and more commuters hopping on their bike to catch the ferry, rather than driving,” Julie Anne Genter said.
The Eastern Bays Shared Path will provide a safe walk and cycleway along Marine Drive, and will connect the Bays to the Remutaka Cycle Trail and Te Aranui o Pōneke – the Great Harbour Way.
The shared path includes a new seawall designed to minimise impact on the marine environment, and prevent road closures with improved protection from storm surges.
Currently, power, gas and fibre cables are becoming exposed and dangerous due to coastal erosion, so construction of the new Eastern Bays Shared Path will move these services to a safer location.
In the Wairarapa, the Five Towns Trail is a significant project that will eventually connect Martinborough, Featherston, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton to the Remutaka Cycle Trail and other Wellington Regional Trails.
The first priority is the Tauherenikau Bridge section – 11.5km of picturesque trail with a 150m long, 17m high suspension bridge over the Tauherenikau River. When complete, the Tauherenikau Bridge will be one of the longest suspension bridges in New Zealand.
“This cycle trail will help attract more visitors over to the Wairarapa and will provide locals a fun way to get out and explore their own back yard,” said Julie Anne Genter.
$15 million has been allocated by the Government to the Eastern Bays shared path which has a total estimated cost of $30 million. $1 million has been allocated to the Five Towns Trail. The two projects are part of $220 million worth of cycleway projects included in the Government’s $3 billion ‘shovel-ready’ infrastructure projects.
Construction on both projects is due to start in 2021 following resource consent approval.