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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says the awarding of a contract for construction of Section 2 of Te Ara Ki Uta Ki Tai, the Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path, marks a major step forward for the project.

The contractor, Construction Landscape Limited (CLL), had previously worked on completion of the Orākei Basin boardwalk that makes up part of Section 3 of the overall shared path. Section 2 is the obvious missing link in the 7km shared path as it connects Section 1 and 3, which are already open. Auckland Transport is to deliver Section 4.

At just under 3km in length, Section 2 runs from St Johns Road to Ōrākei Basin and is the longest of the path’s four sections. It’s expected to be completed by mid-2022 at a cost of $55m, says Waka Kotahi Senior Manager Project Delivery, Andrew Thackwray.

“The path is expected to become one of the city’s most scenic walking and cycling routes and be popular with commuters and others using it for fitness and recreation.”

CLL’s Service and Solutions general manager Sean Henry says CLL is excited about the award of the project, which they have been targeting for some time. 

“We enjoy building complex and interesting community infrastructure and this project is definitely that. We are conscious of the local interest and the effects of construction, so we welcome engagement from the community throughout the project.” 

“This contract provides another opportunity for us to work alongside Waka Kotahi to enhance the walking and cycling network of Auckland”

Work will start shortly on establishing a site office and clearing vegetation, but the main construction work won’t start until the summer construction season.

“Initial progress on-site may appear slow to the public. This is typical for preparing a site for construction work, especially during winter months,” says Andrew Thackwray.

Waka Kotahi, CLL and mana whenua will work closely together to manage the impact of the pathway on the land and its history.

There will be sections of concrete path, raised boardwalks through native bush and over archaeological sites as well as two bridges.

One bridge will cross a gully in the reserve behind John Rymer Place and another will span the eastern rail line from Pourewa Valley to Tahapa Reserve East (near the Purewa Cemetery).

A 4.8m wide boardwalk will travel above ground through Pourewa Valley, ensuring the natural water flow is not interrupted and to minimise disturbance of the native bush. A boardwalk will also run around a steep section in Tahapa Reserve East. The deck will have reinforced plastic panels, similar to the decking on the Section 3 boardwalk.

“This will provide slip resistance and durability, which are particularly important in a bush environment and given the high volume of people on bikes anticipated to use the path.”

The bridge decks will be concrete and approximately 5m wide, with black powder coated steel balusters and wooden handrails. The bridges will have low gradient approaches to aid accessibility.

The balustrade height will be 1.2m on most parts of the shared path and boardwalk.

“We know from feedback on the Ōrākei Basin boardwalk that people prefer a lower height balustrade. However, on the bridges and bends on the boardwalk the balustrade will be 1.4m for the safety of cyclists. There are also safety standards we must follow for the bridge crossing electrified rail lines.”

The Glen Innes to Tāmaki Drive Shared Path will be a direct link from the eastern suburbs to the upgraded Tāmaki Drive Cycle Route, which is one of the busiest cycle routes to the city. From there, people will be able to access other routes on the city’s connected cycle network including the Northern Pathway across the Auckland Harbour Bridge to the city’s northern suburbs.

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