'Missing link' cycle track feasibility study completed

Plans for a $1 million ''missing link'' in the Upper Clutha's cycle network are moving ahead.

A feasibility study on a proposed 25km track between Wanaka and the Cardrona village has just been completed and final negotiations of easements over farmland should begin soon.

Project spokeswoman and Cardrona developer Kathy Brooke-Lynne said the study - paid for with proceeds from the past two Cardrona vintage fairs - estimated the track's construction would cost about $1 million.

Southern Land CKL engineer and former Upper Clutha Tracks Trust chairman Tim Dennis had surveyed a route for the track, which it was hoped could be built in conjunction with a proposed $2 million wastewater line from Cardrona to Wanaka's Project Pure treatment plant.

The track had been designed to a ''council commuter standard'' on the basis that the Queenstown Lakes District Council would potentially take it over once it was developed, Ms Brooke-Lynne said.

The majority of farmers had been ''totally supportive'' of the track crossing their land.

One landowner's indecision was largely related to the location of the track.

''Why it's had a lot of support is because it's the missing link. Wanaka in every other direction, except for that southern link, has a cycle track now.

''Also it's a lot flatter. It's a gradual gradient, which is good for a lot of older people and children and things because a lot of the other tracks ... are quite challenging, and so that's a plus, as well.''

The Cardrona Residents and Ratepayers Association recently made a funding application to the council for the legal work required for the track's easements. Seeking funds for its construction would be the next step.

''We believe it will be a great asset for both communities to link the two together,'' Ms Brooke-Lynne said.

lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz