The NZ Transport Agency’s project team are returning to the design table after a reassessment of costs for the final stage of its shared cycling and pedestrian pathway between Dunedin and Port Chalmers indicated the budget would be exceeded.
A year ago the Transport Agency started designing the final stage of the shared walking and cycling path linking St Leonards to Port Chalmers. This 5.2km extension to the shared path will provide an alternative route for pedestrians and cyclists to State Highway 88 (SH 88) between Dunedin and Port Chalmers.
Finding the safest route away from traffic for cyclists and pedestrians is not straightforward given the harbour edge environment and the steep grades through the Roseneath area.
Throughout this process, public consultation events were held to better understand what the future users would like to see in a path. The design was further refined as the Transport Agency worked alongside its key stakeholders, KiwiRail and the Dunedin City Council, to develop a design to cater for everyone’s needs.
“As the Transport Agency progressed through the design, a point was reached where a detailed assessment of cost was able to be undertaken. This has shown that the cost of construction would be considerably higher than that budgeted,” said Simon Underwood, Projects Team Leader, NZ Transport Agency.
“The challenge now is for the project team to re-examine the design and develop options to reduce the overall cost,” he said.
The Transport Agency appreciates that many parties have been involved in assisting in shaping the project design. It is essential however, that the design is re-examined so that planned consent applications can be re-tailored to suit and further consultation be undertaken, once alternate design options have been assessed.
“The Transport Agency remains committed to developing a solution to provide an extension of the shared path from St Leonards to Port Chalmers as a safe alternative route for pedestrians and cyclists between Dunedin and Port Chalmers,” said Mr Underwood.
Project Manager Jason Forbes said his team was committed to keeping locals and the wider Dunedin community informed of how the last stage of the shared pathway could be redesigned to reduce costs.