New sections of cycle and walk ways constructed as part of the NZ Transport Agency's Manukau Harbour Crossing project will be officially opened this Sunday (20 February) by the Minister of Transport, Hon. Steven Joyce.
The links, which total 3.5 kilometres, connect the communities of Mangere Bridge and Onehunga across the Manukau Harbour. They include:-
Safety and lighting improvements have also been made to the Onehunga Mall underpass, along with new paths through Onehunga Lagoon and around the Onehunga Harbour Road footbridge.
Mr Joyce will lead the ribbon cutting and community celebration – which is being held in Bikewise month - at 10am at the south end of the old Mangere Bridge at the corners of Coronation and Waterfront Roads.
The NZTA’s State Highways Manager for Auckland and Northland, Tommy Parker, says that the pedestrian and cycling routes will benefit the Mangere Bridge and Onehunga communities, and are an integral part of the project to construct the duplicate motorway bridge. across the harbour.
“The NZTA and our project partners know that the communities on both sides of the harbour have been waiting a long time for this and we’re hoping it will upgrade recreational facilities for the whole area,” Mr Parker says. .
We’ve created access for cyclists across the harbour to the new Beachcroft footbridge, linking to the existing local paths in Onehunga and through to the SH20 cycleway alongside the Mt Roskill Extension motorway.”
After the official opening, there will be the opportunity for people to cycle and walk the new routes. They can choose which route they would like to take, with route descriptions and distance clearly signposted to help them. Information displays, hot dogs, cold drinks and a bouncy castle will also provide a festive atmosphere to the cycleway celebration.
The event will close at 12 noon with the placement of the Manukau Harbour Crossing Time Capsule into the recently completed duplicate motorway bridge. Participants at the cycle event will have the chance to win the opportunity to be one of the party who enter the bridge to place the time capsule. The time capsule is to be opened in 2051 and includes mementos from the construction of the bridge.
The cycleway celebration is the final official milestone of the $230M Manukau Harbour Crossing Project which opened seven months ahead of schedule in August 2010. The new duplicate bridge on the Southwestern Motorway [State Highway 20] is a critical part of the Western Ring Route, a strategic motorway alternative which, when completed, will ease pressure on SH1 through central Auckland and the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Since its opening, the duplicate bridge has helped reduce travel times between Auckland International Airport and the Auckland CBD by as much as 20 minutes during peak periods.