Group pushing walkway project

Plans are progressing on the Waihola Looking Forward group's latest large project, although there is a lot of hard work to go, its chairman says.

The group has had a plan for some time to build a 2km walkway, which could also be used by cyclists, along the front of Lake Waihola, from the Waihola Domain to Surrey Bay.

Chairman Stu Michelle said the group was now well into the planning stages, but was keen to get some more people on board to help progress the project.

The concept of a 2.4m-wide path similar to the cycle trails in Central Otago remained, and the group had had some positive talks with parties that would have to be involved, including Kiwirail.

He was still reluctant to say how much the project would cost but the Taieri Times understands it would be well over $100,000.

Mr Michelle said the group would raise the funds largely through grants, but needed people to get involved in the committee first, to make the project happen.

The group had an AGM coming up and was planning at least one public meeting later this year.

Clutha District Council community support and development adviser Jean Proctor said the group had approached her for some advice and she had met them once about the project.

The project would take a lot of work, she said. While it was not impossible, there was a lot to consider, including public consultation, negotiations with landowners and engagement of engineers.

''They're a very motivated group and I will be working very closely with them on it in the future.''

Mr Michelle said the group felt it was time to push the project more into the public eye, and people would hear a lot more about it.

''It'll be great for the town and for cyclists, because that bit through there is especially dangerous for cyclists.''

Waihola Looking Forward is a group of local volunteers who look after the general beautification needs of the district.

They have previously built a jetty and upgraded the Waihola Hall, and they maintain the Millennium Track in their area.

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