Options for people walking and on bikes
On-road cyclists can use the short section of SH1 Transmission Gully between Paekākāriki and Mackays Crossing until construction on SH59 is complete. The exit for all southbound on-road cyclists will be the new Paekākāriki interchange.
State Highway 59 (coastal route) continues to be the preferred route for recreation and active transport because it is more scenic, less steep and has better connections with existing shared paths:
- Te Ara Harakeke (the flax pathway) between Plimmerton and Pukerua Bay
- Te Ara o Whareroa which connects Paekākāriki through Queen Elizabeth Park with the Kāpiti cycle route at Raumati
Transmission Gully will reduce traffic on State Highway 59 (the coastal route) and on SH58 west of Transmission Gully. Once traffic patterns have settled, Waka Kotahi will undertake a safety audit of SH58 between Paremata and Pāuatahanui and SH59 between Linden and Mackays Crossing. This audit will help inform discussions about the future of these sections of road and what, if any, changes may be required. Walking and cycling needs will be considered as part of this process.
Many Wellingtonians have already enjoyed Te Ara o Whareroa, a shared path through Queen Elizabeth Park. Built in 2016 to provide a safe route for cyclists during construction of Transmission Gully at Paekākāriki, Te Ara o Whareroa connects Paekākāriki with Raumati, and is part of the Kāpiti cycle route. Te Ara o Whareroa continues to be the main and safest route for recreational cyclists.
With a sealed surface, Te Ara o Whareroa is also suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, and children can bike to school safely and quickly through the park in all seasons. The path has been designed to meet a gradient grade 1 – the easiest level – for most of the distance. The cycling time from Tilley Road in Paekākāriki to Poplar Ave in Raumati is approximately 20 minutes. The shared path enjoys views of Kāpiti island, regenerating native trees and shrubs, Kāpiti’s renowned sand dune formations, and great views of Transmission Gully.
Tracks to be built by the Transmission Gully Project
The 27 kilometres of safe, reliable, and resilient motorway isn’t all the Transmission Gully project includes.
There will be several recreational walking and cycling tracks built in the final phase of the project, after the motorway has opened to traffic.
A one-kilometre-long network of shared paths will be built beside SH58 (between the roundabout with Pāuatahanui village and the new motorway interchange roundabouts). A further kilometre of recreational and scenic path for walking and cycling will follow the Pāuatahanui stream, overlooking native planting through the new Transmission Gully/SH58 interchange. These will provide a better connection from Bradey Road to the Pāuatahanui village and Whitby. The flat gradient of these paths will make them suitable for pushchairs, wheelchairs and mobility scooters, as well as families with kids on bikes.
Flightys Road to Battle Hill path
A one-metre-wide track will be built from the northern end of Flightys Road to Battle Hill Farm Forest Park. This track has some varying terrain with a gradient up to 15% so won’t be for the faint hearted. Cattle stops/grates need to be installed on the path where stock is moved, so this track is unlikely to be suitable for horses.
Battle Hill Farm to Paekākāriki track
There will be a short section close to the motorway running north from Battle Hill, then a very steep uphill climb (with gradients up to 25%) to an existing track along the western ridgeline continuing through to Paekākāriki. Currently known as the Gasline Track, the ridgeline track sits above the Kapuni gas main that runs all the way from Taranaki to Wellington. The track continues down to SH59 at Paekākāriki via the historic Middle Run farm, beside Te Puka Stream.
We expect this to be a popular and challenging walking track as the ridge has awe inspiring views of Kāpiti Island and on the right day you can see all the way to Mount Ruapehu and Mount Taranaki. The Transmission Gully project team is working with experts in mountain bike track design to see if it can safely become a Grade 4 mountain bike track, as well as a walking track.
Belmont Regional Park
Situated in the hills between Porirua and the Hutt Valley, Belmont Regional Park tracks will be re-connected under the Transmission Gully motorway at Wai o Hata (Bridge 19 – north of Te Ara a Toa). There will also be connections under the abutments of Te Ara a Toa to link with existing paths into Cannons Creek and Waitangirua.
Belmont Regional Park offers bush-clad tracks for walking, running, mountain biking and horse riding. It’s also an excellent spot for a picnic, or to explore the historic Korokoro Dam, Pareaho Pa, World War II ammunition stores and the original main coach road from Wellington. For a magnificent view of Te Ara a Toa, the viaduct over the Cannons Creek stream, people can access the track from the top of Takapu Road and walk underneath once the path connections are re-established.
A replacement carpark will also be built at the end of Takapu Road, to replace the temporary one built during construction of the new motorway, a little further down Takapu Road.
Find out more about Belmont Regional Park tracks at www.gw.govt.nz/parks/belmont-regional-park/(external link)
For more information check out the Greater Wellington Regional Council’s website: