What’s this project about?
The completion of an Eastern Bays Shared Path has been included in past Hutt City Council strategies and is a key project in providing a safe and integrated network for commuting and recreational purposes under the current strategy “Walk and Cycle the Hutt 2014 – 2019”.
The project is considered part of the Great Harbour Way/Te Aranui o Pōneke which is a walking and cycling route around Te Whanganui-a-tara, the harbour of Wellington from Fitzroy Bay in the east to Sinclair Head in the west.
Previous designs for a shared path were dependant on the replacement of almost the entirety of the existing seawalls with a modern fit for purpose structure which is more effective at reflecting wave energy, thus reducing potential overtopping during storm events. This design allowed for the provision of a shared path on top of the structure.
Recent seawall structural assessments have indicated that complete replacements aren't economically justified, as many sections still have over 20 years' residual life. Some sections, however, are considered to have less than 5 years' life and will be replaced by a modern fit for purpose structure.
This project is all about developing options for a shared path connection that isn't dependent on the complete continuous replacement of the existing seawalls, to ensure potential solutions are affordable.
The project focuses on improving the safety for pedestrians and cyclists on Marine Drive between:
- Point Howard and the northern end of Days Bay
- The southern end of Days Bay (Windy Point) to Eastbourne (Muritai Road / Marine Parade intersection)
Days Bay is not included as part of the scope of this project as it currently provides a lower speed limit, some safe facilities for pedestrians and increased widths for on-road cyclists.
Note: arrows indicate approximate length and area of study
How the community benefits from the Shared Path
The Shared Path will provide:
- A safe environment for pedestrians and cyclists on a high speed, busy road
- Improved sight distance for road users
- A reduction of accidents and injuries
- Attractive facilities for new users
- Improved connectivity between Eastern Bays and the wider Hutt Valley
- Increased choice of different ways to travel
- An improved access to existing trails and walkways.
Depending upon the options selected and design details, it is also possible that the a shared path may offer some increased sea defence by redirecting waves and debris back away from the shared path facility.
Where are we at?
We've been developing the investigation and design further, using technical information alongside community feedback. A variety of specialists are giving us technical advice: including specialists in ecology, landscape, resource planning, coastal processes and urban design.
Read our FAQs
View our plans and section diagrams (PDF 11MB)
The project team has developed a number of designs for the two path width options, including options to treat the more sensitive areas around the beaches.
View plans and sections diagrams for the variant options (PDF 1.7MB)
Simulated shared path views
Take a look at a selection of simulated views for the shared path, encompassing key areas of the Eastern Bays.
The current project timeline* is:
|Workshops with NZTA and community groups
|First Community Open Day
|Indicative Business Case with recommended concept options to develop further
|Detailed Business Case (preliminary design of 1-2 options)
||May - August 2017
|Further community engagement
|Agreed Preferred Option
|Detailed Design of Preferred Option
*Timeline is subject to change
The project is progressing well: We held a series of meetings during August to engage with the community and got their feedback on the options.
Initially we held individual bay meetings where discussions took place around issues specific to the respective bay communities. This culminated in an Open Day for everyone interested in the options. Through this process we also sought written feedback via online questionnaires covering the proposed shared path options.
The project team has now developed a number of designs for the two path width options, including options to treat the more sensitive areas around the beaches.
Community feedback has been incorporated into the technical information and will inform the preferred option. That will then be taken forward into the consenting stage. We are currently still talking to members of the community about design details. Consents are programmed to be lodged in the first quarter of next year.
In October 2017, Conservation Dog Handler Alastair Judkins and his Penguin Detection Dog Mena conducted a little blue penguin survey along the eastern bays of the Wellington harbour. This was completed in collaboration with the Lower Hutt City Council and the Eastern Bays Penguin Group.
October was chosen as it coincided with the expected breeding season of the penguins which would give a higher likelihood of site occupation. The aim of this survey was to locate sites that were being utilised by penguins, either for breeding or roosting.
There were two facets to the search:
- The coastal strip from Burdens gate in the South, to the Estuary Bridge on Waione Street to the North, including the breakwaters of the Seaview marina.
- Private properties that had given permission for the handler and dog to search their properties for the presence of penguin activity and council owned reserves
Data was collected on all the sites, which included date, time, GPS coordinates, dog detection type, site description and whether adult penguins, chicks or eggs were sighted. The sites were marked with orange coded flag tape that had correlated with the data recorded on the data sheet.
The survey commenced on the 14th of October 2017 and finished on the 19th of October for a total of 6 days. During the survey period, Alastair and Mena identified 78 sites that were deemed to be utilised by little blue penguins. 74 were located along the coastal strip and seaward side of the road and 4 were located on the landward side of the road.
26 adult penguins were sighted, 13 chicks and 13 eggs. Some sites may have had adults, chicks and eggs present but the actual nest site was hidden/unable to be accessed. Some sites had adults sighted but it was not possible to see if there were any chicks/eggs present as the nest site was not accessible.
Some properties along the landward side on the road were deemed to be unsafe for the dog to operate in due to the amount of broken glass sighted. This included council owned properties.
Not all the private properties were searched as some were deemed to be inaccessible to penguins due to either the terrain or boundary fences which would have excluded penguins.
How can you find out more
Read our FAQs
If you would like to know more, please contact:
Simon Cager Senior Project Engineer
T: 04 570 6666