Wellington Scoop

NZTA greenlights design of 5-metre-wide Ngauranga to Petone seaside path


News from NZ Government
The Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter has announced that the Ngauranga to Petone section of the Wellington to Hutt Valley pathway is a major step closer, following a greenlight from the NZ Transport Agency Board to proceed to the next phase of the project.

The decision confirms the Transport Agency’s commitment to a five-metre-wide, sea-side path for the Ngauranga to Petone section of the Wellington to Hutt Valley Walking and Cycling Link and gives the Agency the green light to complete the next stage of work required to consult on new designs and apply for resource consent.

“This project would represent the most significant expansion of public access to Wellington’s waterfront in decades,” said Julie Anne Genter.

“It will open up a part of the coastline that’s been locked off for too long. Right now anyone walking or cycling this route is forced to use a narrow, uneven path or ride along the edge of State Highway 2. That’s unacceptable.

“A five-metre-wide shared path will give a safe, dedicated route for people to walk, cycle or scooter between our two biggest centres.

“The project will also play a significant role in making the region’s transport network more resilient. The sea-side path will protect the rail line and road from erosion and damaging storm surges and provide alternative access route for emergency vehicles in an event where SH2 is blocked,” said Julie Anne Genter.

Transport Agency Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says: “The project was initially planned as a three-metre-wide path, but the Agency is now working towards a five-metre-wide path. This will provide a higher standard walking and cycling facility along the coastal edge between Petone and Ngauranga.

“The Agency is currently refining the design for the path, including its recreational, ecological and landscape features, and special consideration is being given to how to provide access to the coastal edge after decades of being inaccessible. Other considerations are providing seabird habitat, coastal planting, and areas to allow for recreation and appreciation of the coastline.

“Before applying for consent, the Agency will be seeking community feedback on the design and seeking public support for the project. An application for resource consent is expected in late 2019 – mid 2020, with the consent process expected to take up to two years.

“Our focus now is on finalising our design and ensuring we’ve prepared as best we can for the resource consent process. The public have been asking for this path for decades, and we want to ensure we’re doing all we can to finally deliver it,” Ms Speight says.

“We know that the public is looking for more efficient transport options that are good for them and the community.

“Earlier today, a blessing was held to mark the start of construction of the Evans Bay pathway which follows the opening of the Oriental Bay cycleway in December last year. These are all important steps in developing a safe cycling network across the Wellington region.”

Final costs will not be known until the design has been finalised, resource consents granted, and a construction contract awarded. The NZTA Board has noted that the construction cost of the N2P section is expected to be $76 million, with an upper estimate of $94 million. This cost estimate partly reflects the cost of coastal reclamation that would be required to deliver the project.

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  1. greenwelly, 11. April 2019, 14:21

    Well that will teach me for thinking optimistically about NZTA timeframes – expect an 18 month – 2 year build and you get 2024 for completion!
    “An application for resource consent is expected in late 2019 – mid 2020, with the consent process expected to take up to two years. “

  2. This is the best news I’ve heard today. But as they say, Rome wasn’t consented in a day.

  3. NigelTwo, 11. April 2019, 15:27

    @greenwelly. If we have to wait until 2024, isn’t it necessary to make a temporary fix to the Petone end of the existing shambles? A big thanks to everyone helping to make this project happen.

  4. Mike Mellor, 11. April 2019, 15:41

    Excellent news, and I hope that the opportunity will be taken to ironing out the curves on the railway line so that trains will no longer appear to dawdle compared with traffic on the road (except when it’s clogged). Literally concreting in the existing railway speed limits would be pretty dumb – let’s hope the new multi-modal NZTA avoids a repeat of the speed limit imposed on the railway by the bridge that replaced SH1 at Mackays Crossing.

  5. Andy Foster, 11. April 2019, 16:48

    Excellent news !
    It’s taken too long to get to this point but now let’s get on with it. When completed this will be transformational, a bit like the fabulous New Plymouth coastal path. It will tie all sorts of routes in the Hutt and in Wellington together. It will also be valuable in protecting the railway and to a lesser degree the road from storms.

  6. Dave B, 11. April 2019, 18:06

    @ Mike Mellor: Or alternatively allow a greater degree of “cant deficiency” on passenger trains by allowing them to take the curves slightly faster. Our rail system’s curve-speeds are largely dictated by the needs of heavy freight trains with top-heavy locomotives. There is no reason why low-centre-of-gravity Matangis could not safely take curves faster, and the “cant deficiency” (the sideways curving-force that passengers feel) would still be lower than it is in a bus – which no-one worries about.

  7. Andy Mellon, 11. April 2019, 20:02

    Great news, but this is taking far too long. 2 years for planning and consenting? That’s crazy.

  8. luke, 11. April 2019, 20:22

    so best case scenario five years away? Something needs to be done immediately like a barrier to protect active mode users using the hard shoulder at the petone end.

  9. steve doole, 11. April 2019, 21:29

    How many million tonne of fill or spoil will be dumped in the harbour to create 5m surface alongside existing? Where will this come from and how? The route is on the deeper side of the harbour, possibly with wildlife and vegetation impact even if done carefully, but resource consent should take a while.

  10. Glenn, 14. April 2019, 8:28

    Hopefully the lycra brigade will be made to use it, and not the motorway

  11. luke, 14. April 2019, 12:07

    Glenn, provide me with a cycleway and you won’t see me on a 100km road next door. Don’t provide me with a cycleway and you will probably see my rear numberplate whilst sitting in the congestion.

  12. Harry M, 14. April 2019, 15:32

    Cyclemania. Luke I won’t see you very well if I drive past you in the 120k southerly with heavy rain – a normal Wellington winter.

  13. luke, 14. April 2019, 17:12

    If i’m on a protected cycleway, I dont care if you see me or not. Currently cyclists are forced to trust that motorists will even be paying attention.

  14. Harry M, 15. April 2019, 7:20

    Our roads are based on trust, we use them as we trust others to pay attention and not to drive into us. There is nothing wrong with trusting others or paying attention when driving and cycling. There are not enough cyclists to justify separate cycle lanes in the inner city roads … Around the seashore, a different story as in more open recreational areas the cycle lanes are not endangering life and limb as they are in many parts of the city. [Abridged]

  15. Dave B, 15. April 2019, 14:35

    Harry M: Not having these cycle lanes is endangering life and limb of cyclists who are at the mercy of drivers who may or may not be paying attention. Given that 380 people are dying on NZ’s roads each year (and 8-10 times that number are seriously injured), there is a big problem with relying on “trust” for safety on the roads. This an inherent failing of the road transport system and it would be little different even if there were no cyclists at all.

  16. IanS, 15. April 2019, 16:29

    This cycleway was going to use the rocks and dirt excavated from the Petone to Grenada road. Where will the material come from now? Harbour channel deepening excavations?

  17. greenwelly, 15. April 2019, 17:23

    @Ian S , they will end up buying it from the quarry across the road for about $7 million….

  18. Mike Mellor, 15. April 2019, 18:14

    Harry M, cycle lanes do not endanger life and limb. It’s actually vehicles that do all that damage.