Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, has announced its preference for building the middle section of the Northern Pathway on the western side of the Northern Motorway (SH1).
The walking and cycling pathway is planned to stretch from Westhaven to Albany. As part of the business case for the Akoranga to Constellation Drive section, Waka Kotahi has been consulting widely on the route and design.
The public consultation was held online in June because of COVID-19 restrictions on public meetings.
Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships, Steve Mutton says there was feedback from 332 people. The interactive map on Social Pinpoint was visited by 1,743 unique users, with 392 comments posted.
“This feedback was invaluable as people told us how they want to use this section of the pathway, the destinations they want to reach and what would make the pathway attractive for them to use.”
Overall, sentiment was 82% in support of the route. However, many respondents were concerned about potential impacts on Smiths Bush.
“We have heard what people said and we’re working with relevant community groups, local boards and government agencies to consider options to
mitigate any potential environmental impact as we finalise the route design and business case.”
The seven-kilometre shared path will connect the proposed Westhaven to Akoranga pathway across the Waitematā Harbour to the section already under construction between Constellation Drive and Albany as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements (NCI) project.
Once completed, it will connect the entire length of the Northern Pathway from Central Auckland to Albany, as well as the North Shore communities along the way, into Auckland’s growing cycle network.
The preferred route follows the western side of the motorway from Akoranga Drive, crossing to the eastern side around Sunset Road, to connect with the Constellation Drive to Albany section of the pathway.
“After consultation with the public, mana whenua, project partners and key stakeholders, we found that a western route would be more direct with fewer road crossings. The western route also has more available space in the motorway corridor and less potential impact on property and the environment. It also avoids potential for conflict between path users and buses and traffic at transport hubs.”
Steve Mutton says the preferred route will have to be endorsed by the Waka Kotahi Board and have funding approved before the detailed design can begin.
“We really appreciate the helpful feedback we’ve gathered through the consultation process. There will be opportunities for more consultation during the detailed design and consenting phases of the project,” says Steve Mutton.
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