No regrets for cycleway backer

A long-time West Harbour cycling advocate says the new $43 million price tag to build the 5km cycleway to link Dunedin to Port Chalmers has not changed his mind about the project.

Steve Walker
Steve Walker
As former West Harbour community board chairman Steve Walker — now a now Dunedin city councillor — was a vocal advocate for the project before construction began in 2020.

He also chaired the now defunct Harbour Cycle Network,which advocated for the path from about 2004.

It was revealed this week the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency budget for the shared path alongside State Highway 88 had ballooned and was presently $17 million higher than the $26 million cost originally advertised.

In April alone, $10.5 million was added to the total cost in what was supposed to be the final year of its construction.

Nevertheless, Cr Walker said he "absolutely" would have pushed for the project if had he known the present price tag, and he remained very excited about the off-highway pathway.

"You cannot put a price on one lost life and I’d challenge anyone to do so," he said.

It was a struggle getting the transport agency to agree to the final stage they were now building, but once it was given the go-ahead the agency was clear there might be some "unknowns" during the construction phase, Cr Walker said.

 

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