Boardwalk by­passes busy road

Kaikoura Star - - FRONT PAGE - By EMMA DANGER­FIELD

Cy­clists and pedes­tri­ans will soon be able to make their way from West End to New World without hav­ing to take their life in their hands on State High­way 1.

Thanks to a col­lab­o­ra­tive fund­ing ef­fort from the Kaik­oura District Coun­cil and the NZ Trans­port Agency, a new boardwalk is be­ing cre­ated to al­low walk­ers and cy­clists to take in beach and moun­tain views, avoid­ing the high­way al­to­gether.

The stretch of boardwalk is half com­plete, thanks to the hard work of the Kaik­oura Li­ons Club, who have so far put in con­sid­er­able work for four Satur­days.

With an­other four work­ing bees to go, pro­ject co-or­di­na­tor Rusty Arthur said the pro­ject was pro­gress­ing well, and would add real value to Kaik­oura’s clean green im­age.

The im­por­tance placed on cy­cling could not be ig­nored, he said.

He hoped with the con­tin­u­a­tion of other tracks around the district, cy­clists would soon see Kaik­oura as a bike- friendly des­ti­na­tion, which would in turn at­tract more tourists and ben­e­fit the whole town.

The track leaves the Whale Watch car park area and fol­lows the line of the beach, so walk­ers will en­joy un­in­ter­rupted views of the sea and moun­tain ranges.

The flat sur­face will make walk­ing on the beach ac­ces­si­ble to all, in­clud­ing wheel­chair users.

The path will con­tinue along the beach as far as the Kaik­oura He­li­copters area, then join a shin­gle path­way be­hind the land­ing pad.

The rest of the path will be a mix of shin­gle and boardwalk un­til the Harakeke shop­ping mall.

The pro­ject man­ager from the coun­cil, Matt Hog­gard, said a rail­way cross­ing is re­quired, which is why the path will con­tinue as far as the shop­ping mall.

If the cross­ing had been put in at Hawthorne Rd, be­cause the rail­way at that point is a dou­ble track, warn­ing bells and lights would have been re­quired.

By put­ting the cross­ing fur­ther up, where the rail­way was sin­gle track only, this is­sue is avoided.

The boardwalk is part of Kaik­oura’s walk­ing and cy­cling strat­egy, to which the coun­cil has been com­mit­ted since its in­cep­tion in 2009.

It was nec­es­sary to have a strat­egy in place be­fore fund­ing could be sought from NZTA. How­ever, shortly af­ter the strat­egy was de­vel­oped, NZTA re­stricted fund­ing for walk­ing and cy­cling to ar­eas where traf­fic con­ges­tion ex­isted, and Kaik­oura no longer qual­i­fied.

Coun­cil as­set man­ager Gallo Saidy has worked with the rel­e­vant agen­cies to en­sure fund­ing for this pro­ject, and coun­cil has also re­ceived NZTA fund­ing for mi­nor safety im­prove­ments as op­posed to walk­ing and cy­cling.

Projects given fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to date in­clude the walk­ing and cy­cling link from Scarborough St to South Bay Race­course, ad­di­tional road widen­ing along Scarborough St and the pro­ject from Whale Watch.

Photo: EMMA DANGER­FIELD

Tread­ing the boards: Kaik­oura Li­ons Club mem­bers con­tinue their ef­forts on the new boardwalk, which will even­tu­ally link walk­ers and cy­clists from Whale Watch to the Harakeke shop­ping mall. Back row from left, Peter McInnes, Tony Flint and Digby Parkin. Front row, Rusty Arthur and Philip Flint.

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