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The 195km coastal recreational trail would take two years and about $14 million to build.
An initial $80,000 feasibility study commissioned by the Waitaki District Council and the Dunedin City Council last year, is set to be discussed at the city council’s economic development committee on Monday.
It shows the trail would create 45 full-time jobs each year over the two years proposed to build the track, and then support 54 full-time jobs a year for the next 20 years.
The project would require inclusion by the councils in their coming long-term plans and would connect to the 301km Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail from Mt Cook to Oamaru.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the district council was keen to get on with the planning.
The trail promised to be a significant attraction for the areas it passed through, boosting visitor numbers and showcasing coastal scenery and wildlife.
‘‘It would be something quite special,’’ he said. ‘‘We look forward to seeing some progress on it.’’
Visitor spending, health and consumer surplus benefits, and the creation of local jobs were all benefits, city council transport planner Stacey Hitchcock advises.
Based on the upkeep of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, estimated maintenance costs were $283,500 a year, assuming an average cost of $1500 per kilometre.
There had been no assessment of ground or other environmental conditions, she said.
And while the off-road ‘‘world-class iconic experience’’ could attract government co-funding of construction costs, including from the New Zealand Cycle Trail enhancement and extension fund and Provincial Growth Fund, ‘‘these relatively recent funds may be fully allocated or otherwise unavailable for cycle trails in the future’’.
Recreation cycle trails are not funded through the National Land Transport Plan at present.
Risks associated with the construction include negotiating access for the trail over private land; potential effects of coastal erosion; and possible engineering issues associated with low-lying areas and bridging the Waianakarua and Waikouaiti Rivers.
Dunedin Mayor Aaron Hawkins was approached for comment.
- Additional reporting Molly Houseman