Post sponsored by NewzEngine.com

Source: Auckland Council

Work is starting on a major shared path linking communities in Auckland’s west.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Mayor Goff have joined Auckland Transport and Mana Whenua to celebrate the beginning of construction of the shared path between New Lynn and Avondale.

The 2.9km path is a joint project between Auckland Transport, NZ Transport Agency, Auckland Council, and Whau Local Board. It will create a continuous shared path linking New Lynn Station, Avondale Station, Waterview Shared Path and the Northwestern Path which runs alongside the Northwestern Motorway.

Transport Minister Phil Twyford says the path will help to connect communities by providing shorter more direct links between local schools, town centres, and existing train stations and public transport hubs.

“This will be an important addition to the nearly 200km of walking and cycling paths already built under this Government and will give locals a safe, direct route to the CBD. We’re spending $390m on walking and cycling infrastructure in this three-year period – $96m more than the previous government.”

Mayor Goff says climate change is one of the most urgent challenges facing Auckland. “Our response to it must include developing a transport network that provides alternative choices to travelling by car. This helps reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions and helps create healthier and more active communities.

“This project will add to our citywide network of cycleways and shared paths and encourage further uptake of walking and cycling across Auckland.

“When people have access to safe and reliable options for getting around the city, they use them – as we have seen from the growth in cycling and the growing number of people using public transport.”

Mark Lambert, AT’s executive general manager of Integrated Networks says paths like this are vital in changing the way Aucklanders get around.

“We know that safe off-road walking and cycling facilities encourage more people to get active. In the past year, nearly four million bike trips have been recorded across Auckland, an increase of 5.9 per cent on the previous 12 months.”

The path will be mostly off-road and will cross the Whau River on a new purpose-built bridge (which will stand alongside the existing rail bridge).

KiwiRail Chief Operating Officer Todd Moyle says, “It’s great to be able to help provide another way for Aucklanders to get around the city, especially one that is climate-change friendly, and that helps take cars off the roads, easing congestion.”

Whau Local Board has provided significant funding for this bridge. Board chair Kay Thomas says they have worked closely with AT on this project.

“This shared pathway will provide a wonderful opportunity for the people of Whau to access other areas of Auckland as well as our transport hubs. It will ensure the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. The pathway will certainly be well used when it is completed.”

The contract for the work has been awarded to Dempsey Wood. The shared path will cost $44.3m. Funding for the project comes from Auckland Transport, Whau Local Board, and the Government through the Urban Cycleways Programme.

For more information on the project visit the Auckland Transport website.

MIL OSI