Port Chalmers path for tender

A representation of a proposed Simon Kaan design that could be included on the new State Highway...
A representation of a proposed Simon Kaan design that could be included on the new State Highway 88 cycleway-walkway, and some of the other possible options. GRAPHIC: NZTA
The long-awaited State Highway 88 cycleway-walkway is about to go to tender, and work is expected to start soon.

The work, which will include reclamation of up to 20m of harbour in some areas, will also feature artwork the public is being asked to choose, on a raised section at Roseneath.

The agency announced in May last year the final 5km section of the path would be funded, following a series of delays.

The cost of the project had blown out from up to $10million to closer to $20million to $25million.

Most of the extra costs centred on the route through the steep Roseneath peninsula.

The work will be funded by the NZ Transport Agency through the national land transport programme.

It is part of a long-term plan to have a cycleway running from Taiaroa Head to Aramoana.

Funding has been approved for the final sections of the West Harbour shared pathway. Photo: ODT...
One of the final sections of the West Harbour shared pathway. Photo: ODT files

In December the NZTA decided to combine a contract for the cycleway-walkway with another for safety improvements on SH88, after no acceptable tenders were received for the latter job.

NZ Transport Agency project manager Jason Forbes said the design for the cycleway-walkway was complete.

The NZTA had attempted to have a 3m-wide sealed path throughout, but there were "a couple of small pinch points".

One of those was where the path travelled under a rail overbridge near Port Chalmers, where it would be about 2m wide.

It would include a 610m boardwalk at Blanket Bay, reclamation work at St Leonards, where the rail track would be shifted, and in the last half of Blanket Bay.

There would be "substantial reclamation" in Mussel Bay.

Space was needed for the path, and for KiwiRail to install dual tracks in future, meaning at some points the reclamation could go up to 20m into the harbour.

Mr Forbes said he expected to call for contracts shortly, though when they would be signed off was anyone's guess.

The plan was to get work started by the middle of the year.

"I would still say within the next couple of months," he said of his hopes for work to begin.

The contracting market was still tight, but he hoped the scale of the project would attract firms from outside the region.

"We're expecting this one will be pretty well received, and the contractors are hungry."

The agency has asked for feedback on a plan to add designs to the cycleway-walkway at the Roseneath cutting.

Work there required a steel post wall above the road with pre-cast concrete panels, which provided "a blank canvas".

The NZTA had engaged Dunedin artist Simon Kaan to develop four possible concepts for the panels, and had called for feedback on its website by Friday, April 19.

Mr Kaan's designs are inspired by a guardian taniwha in the South Island known as Matamata.

Mr Forbes said the agency would look at the numbers who liked each work, though would also consider comments before making a final decision.

Comments

So we are well on the way to spending $100 million plus on bike ways in Dunedin. Why, because some deluded DCC councilors and staff really believe in "build it and they will come".
If you don't believe the numbers just add up all that has already been spent plus the Caversham and Wingatui tunnels to come. Mind numbing amounts. All so 1% of the population can ride a bike more easily.

But what about Dunedins real needs: a crumbling and failing sewer network, public (actually affordable) housing, a myriad of other things that would enhance this city and actually make the place more livable. Oh these things aren't sexy, so who cares that South Dunedin will flood again this winter. People can move elsewhere, just so long as they can juggle their goods on a bike.

Never understood why harbour cycleway extensions prioritised over the old Caversham and Chain Hills rail tunnels' trail. Latter would cost cheaper and would enable so many more commuters of moderate fitness by effectively providing easy flat route between city centre and Mosgiel with all adjacent suburbs in between. Harbour cycleway extension while nice and scenic costs a fortune yet it benefits only few small communities who are also remote enough to not use it for commute on regular basis.

The West Harbour communities use the cycleway for commuting now. Only problem is, those who live further out than St Leonards either take their lives in their hands by cyclyng on SH88 to St Leoanrds to get to the cycleway, or drive to St Leonards and cycle to town from there.

The commute from Port Chalmers/Sawyers Bay etc on a completed cycleway will not take that long, probably quicker than the proposed Mosgiel to town commute. Probably be a flatter commute than Mosgiel overall as well with the only incline being past Roseneath.

Also, it's not just the west Harbour communities that benefit. Those from town use the cycleway, and will use it to go all the way to Port Chalmers when it is finished. On top of that, ultimately the completed cycleways on both sides of the harbour, coupled with a ferry between the peninsular and Port Chalmers will see a round-the-harbour cycling experience which will be enjoyed by both Dunedin residents and visitors alike.

Sure I admit the recreational qualities of Harbor cycleway and looking forward to see the full loop completed as well.

I guess you right probably that is poor safety of SH88 stretch between St Leonards and Port Chalmers that makes it a higher priority. Roads are a bit safer for Green Island/Fairfield/Brighton/Mosgiel but there is at least one major hill (two for Mosgiel) which makes it a deal breaker for a casual cyclist.

As for price tag of Mosgiel commute, one hill can be essentially "removed" by simply opening up the gates of old Caversham tunnel and a working bee to clean up the entrance at the Kaikorai Valley Rd side (I know it is deemed not safe to do, but remember it used to be open for decades and there was no incidents related to cycling).

 

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