The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has launched a new round of public consultation for a proposed walking and cycle way over Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, which is expected to cost up to $140 million.
In May this year a spokesperson for the NZTA said a business case for the project was expected to be completed later this year and construction was then scheduled to start in 2020. The five-metre-wide path is expected to be attached to the southbound side of the bridge and will directly link Westhaven to Northcote Point and connect with the planned SeaPath shared path to Takapuna.
Transport Minister Phil Twyford committed $67 million from the National Land Transport Fund (NLTF) towards building a walkway and cycleway over the bridge as part of a larger $390 million walking and cycling investment package. But the exact cost of the project hadn’t been established at the time.
But a spokesman for the agency says it’s still on track and it is hoping to see work to start some time next year.
“There is $36 million in the current National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) 2018-21 for the Auckland Harbour Bridge shared walking and cycling path. In the next NLTP period, more allowance will have to be made for the project than was originally planned.
“The total expected cost is $100-$140 million, but we will have more certainty on the cost of construction once the business case is completed later this year. Construction could start as early as 2020 and take two and a half years.”
The NZTA is seeking more feedback from the public as it develops the design of the Auckland Harbour Bridge shared path for walking and cycling. It says it would like to hear from people about how they would like the path to connect or “land” at Westhaven and Northcote Point.
A statement says its working on a detailed business case to examine the path in more detail and it’s expected to go to the NZTA board for approval later this year.
“In July, we held two drop-in evening events where we discussed the high-level design with stakeholders, local residents and other members of the public. We also received some useful feedback about the SeaPath project,” NZTA senior manager for project delivery Andrew Thackwray says.
“We know there is significant public support for us to get on and build the shared path as quickly as possible and we are grateful for the feedback that we’ve had so far. We have heard that people generally like the five-metre width of the path and feel that it provides safe connections for users. We now want to share our work so far and get feedback on where the path will land and connect to the local walking and cycling networks in Westhaven and Northcote Point.”
It says it is planning to use the consents already granted to the SkyPath Trust which had planned to build a similar pathway attached to the Harbour Bridge. The trust had campaigned over a number of years for the construction of a joint walkway and cycleway over the Auckland Harbour Bridge and had even gained resource consent to proceed with the project. It had expected to be involved in the design of the project, but has since been side-lined by the NZTA which has now taken on the lead role.
The two-week public consultation period will run from 21 August 21 to September 4 and will include a series of drop in sessions. Members of the public can also make online submissions.