The trust trying to bring about a shared cycle trail
between Dunedin and Mosgiel via two historic rail tunnels is
likely to switch its focus from having the Caversham Tunnel
reopened, to development at the other end of the trail.
Getting the Caversham Tunnel reopened for the public to use
was, until now, to be the first stage of a multistaged trail
development being led by the Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust.
However, initial investigations showed considerable work was
needed to make the tunnel, through which old pipelines and
utility services run, safe.
Trust member Gerard Hyland said a geotechnical inspection of
the Chain Hills Tunnel showed the smaller number of modern
pipelines running through it provided fewer obstacles to
getting it open to the public, although a structural
assessment was still required.
The cost of getting the Caversham Tunnel opened was known to
be around $1.6 million, while that for getting the Chain
Hills Tunnel open had not yet been ascertained.
However, for the $100,000 the council had set aside in
2012-13 for the project, the trust could achieve more at the
Mosgiel end, including further investigations in the Chain
Hills Tunnel, help with the cost of securing access rights
(easements) across private land to the tunnel and/or initial
track construction costs.
''If the Chain Hills end can be done sooner for a lot less
dollars, we would do it. We need to get something on the
ground that people could be using."
A report to yesterday's full Dunedin City Council meeting
said this approach would allow the trust to build some
momentum and achieve results more quickly than a continued
focus on Caversham Tunnel.
The next step would be getting the structural report on the
Chain Hills Tunnel done.
Once that was received, a decision would be made on which
tunnel to focus on first, Mr Hyland said.
• An important hurdle was passed yesterday, as the council
agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the trust which
outlined both parties' roles in the project, and which
allowed the trust to start raising funds.
The council will take over maintenance of the trail once it
The trust will raise the money for the project and build the