A continuous Auckland waterfront walkway and cycleway that runs from Herne Bay in the west to TEAL Park in the east and connecting on to Tamaki Drive is a step closer to reality.
Council organisation Waterfront Auckland was given the go ahead in an Auckland Council Strategy and Finance committee meeting yesterday for a key section around Westhaven Marina.
The project as a whole was ranked by the public as the highest priority for early investment during the consultation of the draft Waterfront Plan in 2011.
By re-scoping the original walkway and cycleway design which was initially budgeted at $10 million, Waterfront Auckland has reprioritised $5.8 million of allocated funding within its budgets to construct the critical walking and cycling link between the Harbour Bridge and Wynyard Quarter. In doing so, the project will remain cost neutral in terms of impact on rates.
Initial plans for the walkway and cycleway project show that it would:
remove the ancillary routes originally proposed to go around Harbour Bridge Park, Westhaven breakwater and Z Pier;
use existing Westhaven Marina walkways, grassed / planted areas, and small sections of car parking to create a dedicated walkway and cycleway. This will include widening existing footpaths where possible; and
provide new infrastructure over, or next to, the Westhaven sea wall in areas where the footpath is very narrow.
Waterfront Auckland Chief Executive, John Dalzell says the walkway and cycleway has the potential to be one of Auckland's most widely used public amenities.
"To ensure this we intend to deliver a walkway and cycleway that meets the high standards of construction consistent with other projects we've delivered to date such as Jellicoe Street,"
"This will be more challenging now due to the reduction in funding available for this project, however, we're confident substantial structures such as the cantilevered boardwalks will still be designed to a very high standard and will be of a generous width and made from quality materials."
The project is aimed to be completed by the end of the 2013/2014 financial year.
The Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown, has welcomed the promenade saying it will make a significant contribution towards making Auckland a great place for walkers and cyclists.
"The waterfront promenade has the potential to be an iconic feature for the city attracting Aucklanders and visitors alike."
"By linking in with the growing regional network it will also increase interest and participation in walking and cycling as alternative means of transport which is great for Auckland as a whole."
Chair of the Waitemata Local Board, Shale Chambers says: "The Waitemata Local Board endorses the project as it contributes to our objective of providing connectivity for walkers and cyclists within our Local Board area and contributes to our vision for a coastal walkway.
"We believe this facility will be of huge benefit to our constituents and to all Aucklanders who will now have another reason to visit the waterfront."
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