Work has started on the Wairoa River Bridge cycleway which will complete the final link in the Omokoroa to Tauranga cycle trail.
Contractor Brian Perry Civil Limited has set up its construction base on site to attach the 177-metre steel cycleway to the downstream side of the Wairoa Bridge on SH2.
Western Bay of Plenty District Council Deputy Chief Executive Gary Allis says the cycle bridge will be completed before Christmas.
“This will be the final link of the Omokoroa to Tauranga cycleway and give a scenic, safe and fully accessible route for cyclists to travel across the Wairoa River.”
Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber says it’s great the entire Omokoroa to Tauranga cycleway is close to completion, with just small sections left to link to the Wairoa Bridge.
“This has been a marathon project for Council spanning several years and its completion is tribute to the many people and organisations involved in the design, construction and funding of the trail.
“This cycle trail will be a huge asset to both our District and the city. It will provide safe journeys to the city for cyclists and, for our visitors, it will serve as a showcase to the wonderful harbour edge of Western Bay.”
Local hapu Ngati Kahu supports the cycleway across the bridge and kaumatua Lou Te Keeti has liaised with senior Council representatives on the project.
Brian Perry Civil branch manager Adam Plimmer says his company has worked on the construction planning from the early stages.
“We are pleased to bring innovation and sound construction knowledge to the team and we look forward to delivering a successful project for the stakeholders and community.”
New Zealand Transport Agency Manager System Management Bay of Plenty, Rob Campbell, says the cycle trail will be an integral part of the sub-region’s growing cycling network.
At the Wairoa Road side, the bridge extension will transition to a path connecting with the Te Puna Station Road cycleway which has just been completed.
On the Bethlehem side there will be a 3.0m wide concrete cycleway from the bridge, past the Wairoa Marae, connecting to the Tauranga City cycleway network at Carmichael Road.
Provision will be made for a future cycleway extension to be added on the upstream side of Wairoa Bridge. This would connect to Taniwha Place once the Wairoa Active Reserve is developed by Tauranga City Council.
The Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycle Trail has a budget of $13.02 million. This is funded by a number of partners including the NZ Transport Agency $8.05m; TECT $1.0m; Tauranga City Council $1.0m; NZCT (New Zealand Community Trust) $1.0m and Western Bay of Plenty District Council $1.81m.
Details of the cycle trail can be view on Council’s website https://www.westernbay.govt.nz/recreation/cycleways/omokoroa-to-tauranga-cycleway