NZTA still working on West Harbour cycleway

Design work for the long-awaited completion of the Dunedin to Port Chalmers cycle-walkway is continuing, and the NZ Transport Agency has confirmed it is still committed to the project.

Resource consents were lodged recently with the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council to provide for realignment of the rail line between Sawyers Bay and Port Chalmers, to accommodate the route.

NZTA projects team leader Simon Underwood said the budget had not been finalised, and there was ''considerable work'' to do before a design was finalised.

However, the organisation ''remains steadfast in getting to a point to get it ready for construction''.

Early last year it was reported cost estimates for the project had more than doubled from the budgeted $6million, leaving the project uncertain.

Asked for an update, Mr Underwood said engineering design was progressing, with a view to completion in May.

He said the NZTA had not stopped working on the design, and had done more geotechnical work.

It was trying to find ways to make the project cheaper.

Plans still included a route through the Roseneath road cutting, and then preferably along the rail line, rather than under the rail bridge at Sawyers Bay, though that remained ''a reluctant option''.

West Harbour Community Board chairman Steve Walker said the news was ''positive''.

''My feeling is, as the board chair, the NZTA is absolutely committed to completing the path.''

david.loughrey@odt.co.nz

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