The beginning of construction on the Waipukurau to Waipawa Shared Path, a joint project between Waka Kotahi the NZ Transport Agency and Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, was marked with a blessing by hapu from Te Tapairu Marae and Mataweka Marae on Saturday (8 May).
The shared path will improve safety for cyclists and walkers, and encourage more active connections between Waipukurau and Waipawa.
At just over 4.5km long, it will be built along Tapairu Road, State Highway 2 then along Ford Road, with users then directed back on to SH2 just north of Waipukurau. The works will also utilise existing sections of path previously constructed along SH2.
“Safe outdoor spaces are incredibly important for social wellbeing, as seen recently in our experiences with lockdown. The Transport Agency supports developing options for different modes of transport and in this case, it is included in our safety improvements as it takes cyclists off the state highway, where it is particularly busy,” says Waka Kotahi Senior Project Manager, Rob Partridge.
Alex Walker, Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, says "Persistence has paid off and our shared path is underway. Connecting Waipukurau and Waipawa will connect young and old and I can't wait to see people moving safely between the two towns."
Construction is expected to start mid-May and be complete before the end of this year. The estimated cost of the project is $2.8 million.
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