Work on the much-anticipated $11.1million Wainuiomata Shared Pathway, some 10 years in the making, is set to begin after ground at the foot of Wainuiomata Hill was broken this morning.
With an estimated 15-18 month build-time the new 4m wide off-road sealed and separated pathway will provide pedestrians and cyclists safe access up and over the steep and winding Wainuiomata Hill Road.
The pathway will also boost access to existing mountain bike trails and walkways and improve connectivity between the wider Hutt Valley and Wainuiomata.
Mayor Ray Wallace said the concept of a pathway over the Wainuiomata Hill to protect cyclists and walkers from the busy road has been supported by the Wainuiomata community for many years and it is a “watershed moment after all the hard work from community and Council, with the support of the Government and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA), to see the pathway become a physical reality”
“Projects such as this don’t happen without partnership and when the Wainuiomata Shared Pathway opens for use it will be a proud moment for all those involved.”
Deputy Mayor David Bassett, who led this morning’s ground-breaking ceremony on behalf of Mayor Wallace, said providing a safe and integrated network for commuters and recreational cyclists and walkers will open up Wainuiomata to the wider Hutt Valley.
“We want Lower Hutt to be a great place to get out on a bike or hit the pavements on foot but this will only be possible if people have safe, reliable options. It’s fantastic we’ve been able to access the Government’s Urban Cycleway Fund and partner with the NZTA to make this important pathway happen.”
Wainuiomata Councillor Campbell Barry also said the community has been behind the concept of a shared pathway to address safety concerns for many years and it’s “fantastic to see work finally underway”.
“Providing a safe walk and cycle path will be a game changer in how we see and
use the Wainuiomata Hill. Along with everything else happening, it will truly transform the Hill into a regional asset.”
Wainuiomata Councillor Josh Briggs said the Pathway will be an asset for not only Wainuiomata locals but the wider city with future linkages to the Eastern Bay Shared Pathway and the Lower Hutt CBD planned.
“Linking the Pathway with other areas of the city will make active transport safer for the people of Wainuiomata as well as residents of the wider city and visitors alike. It is set to be a great time to get more active in our city.”
The Pathway is designed to complement the Pukeatua Bridge at the peak of Wainuiomata Hill which was completed in 2015.
Funding for the project is split between Hutt City Council $4.6million, the Government’s Urban Cycleway Fund $1.8million and NZTA $4.7million.
Hutt City Council media contact: 027 706 6520.