Te Awamutu Courier
Cycleway’s Waipa¯ stretch set to open
Te Awa River Ride ‘a fantastic asset for the district’
The highly anticipated opening date for the Waipa¯ section of the Te Awa River Ride has been announced by Waipa¯ District Council as Tuesday, March 1.
On this date, visitors will be able to bike, walk or glide all the way from Lake Kara¯piro to the Waipa¯ district boundary, 4.5km north of the Grassroots Trust Velodrome.
Council contractors have been constructing the new cycleway, made up of boardwalks, bridges, culverts and concrete since February last year.
The opening of the cycleway was delayed slightly due to Cyclone Dovi causing damage to railings on the track, but council expected all repairs will be completed in time for the opening.
Council group manager service delivery Dawn Inglis said after 12 months of construction and many challenges and setbacks due to Covid-19, the team is delighted to have the Waipa¯ section opening.
“We have had a very high level of public interest throughout the project and residents are very eager to ride the cycleway,” says Dawn.
“Although we can’t hold our usual community-day event to celebrate the opening, we will be running a district-wide competition to encourage riders to get out and explore the new track.”
The competition involves track users sending a photo of their favourite part of the track to the council to go in the draw to win the grand prize of a new bike valued up to $2000, sponsored by Cambridge local bike specialists Spoken Cycles, or one of four bike safety packs valued at $450.
The competition is open to all Waipa¯ residents and will run during March, with the winners announced on Friday, April 1.
Photos can be taken from anywhere on the Te Awa cycleway from Lake Kara¯piro through to the new Waipa¯ section north of the velodrome.
Waipa¯ District Mayor Jim Mylchreest said the Te Awa cycleway was a fantastic asset for the district and would be enjoyed by many. “The new section is a great way to get active and explore Waipa¯ , with numerous spaces for picnics, a waterfall, areas of cultural interest, and areas to stop and enjoy views of the river. We know our community will just love the new pathway.”
The Waipa¯ section is part of the larger Hamilton-to-Cambridge connection, which is being built concurrently across four district boundaries by Hamilton City Council, Waipa¯ and Waikato district councils, and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Once completed, the completed Te Awa River Ride will traverse 60km from Nga¯ruawa¯hia to Lake Kara¯piro, catering for people of all ages and abilities. “An estimated 300,000 people use the Te Awa River Ride yearly and more than 2500 people use the track to the velodrome on a weekly basis. We are expecting these numbers will only increase with the popularity of e-bikes and scooters,” said Jim.
Construction was no easy feat, with 3km of 3m-wide concrete path, 1.4km of boardwalks, two bridges, drainage, culverts, landscaping and fencing involved.
A blessing has taken place with representatives from Nga¯ti Koroki Kahukura and Nga¯ ti Haua, Mayor Jim Mylchreest and Waikato District Council Deputy Mayor Aksel Bech on February 21 under Covid-19 Protection
Framework red light setting guidelines
The Te Awa River Ride from Hamilton to Cambridge was made possible by two major funding contributions of $2.95 million from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and a $2.84m investment managed by the Provincial Development Unit, following the council’s successful application to the Infrastructure Industry Reference Group for Shovel Ready project funding.
For more information on Te Awa River Ride and the Ride & Win with Waipa¯ competition, head to waipadc.govt.nz/ teawabikepromo.