Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says the new design for a walking and cycling link over the Waitematā Harbour will be built as a continuous path at deck level with the Auckland Harbour Bridge, giving generations of users a seamless link between the city and the wider North Shore.
The Government is investing $360 million in the first section of the Northern Pathway as part of the $6.8 billion NZ Upgrade Programme, and construction is expected to start next year.
The new design joins together the Auckland Harbour Bridge Shared Path with SeaPath, and the Transport Agency is investigating opportunities to extend separated walking and cycling facilities all the way to Albany.
Transport Agency Senior Manager Project Delivery, Andy Thackwray says the Transport Agency is committed to building a great connection for the community.
The updated concept design takes on-board partner, stakeholder and community feedback. It allows the path over the harbour to continue, at the same level as the Auckland Harbour Bridge deck, across Te Onewa Pā and north towards Sulphur Beach Reserve.
The deck-level connection makes it easier and safer for pedestrians and cyclists to travel straight through towards Onewa, Esmonde Road and Akoranga without needing to navigate their way around residential streets. The layout also ensures that people living in Northcote Point and wider neighbourhoods can access the path easily, with a ramp at Princes Street.
“We’ve talked to those who will use and live near the shared path and we’ve heard the strong desire to have a seamless, safe and easy to use connection for people, more than just crossing the Auckland Harbour Bridge.
“We are focused on a connected network of paths across the wider city. We know that is what really helps people to walk and cycle rather than taking the car.
“As well as Section One of the Northern Pathway, which will travel between Westhaven and Esmonde Rd/Akoranga, we have also started work on a Detailed Business Case for connections between Akoranga and Constellation Drive. The Akoranga to Constellation section will join Section One with Section Three, which runs between Constellation Drive and Albany. The Constellation Drive to Albany section is already under construction as part of the Northern Corridor Improvements Project.
“This is fantastic news for people who have been waiting many years to leave their car at home and bike or walk over the Auckland Harbour Bridge. Commuters and visitors to Auckland will be able to enjoy this magical opportunity to view the Waitematā Harbour from a new vantage point.
“We continue to partner with Auckland Transport and Auckland Council who have a number of key projects underway to upgrade and improve the local cycle network. Local Boards have an important role to play in helping us plan local connectivity and we look forward to continued engagement with them as we provide people with real travel choices and improve neighbourhoods.”
There will be more opportunities for people to feed into the how the path will look and feel over the coming months.
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