Road less travelled: Funding needed for pathway
The Christchurch City Council is hoping to secure Government funding to finish a multi-million pathway linking Ferrymead and Scarborough.
The council does not have enough money to finish the 6.5-kilometre Christchurch Coastal Pathway, after spending $6 million to complete the first 3.5km from Ferrymead Bridge to Moncks Bay, east of Redcliffs village.
The last two sections will cost more than $16m to complete and the council has only $5.3m left in its budget to do the work.
The penultimate stage, from Shag Rock to the Sumner Surf Lifesaving Club, was expected to cost $6.5m. The council hoped to start work on that section in the middle of this year, but additional funding needed to be secured before the tender was advertised, a council report said.
A resource consent for the work has been approved by the council and Environment Canterbury was still deciding if its consent needed to be publicly notified.
The final 800-metre stretch of the pathway, around Moncks Bay, was expected to cost more than $10m. The section was the most difficult and expensive because it was thought the pathway would have to be cantilevered out over the bay.
However, at a council infrastructure, transport and environment committee meeting last week, council transport planning and delivery manager Lynette Ellis said there was now the option of pushing the road back into the hill and having the pathway on solid ground rather than cantilevered.
‘‘It’s big engineering we are talking about. We’ve got a couple of years of consenting ahead of us.’’
The council has been under pressure from residents and Heathcote ward councillor Sara Templeton to get the Moncks Bay section of the pathway completed for safety reasons. The only footpath in the area is a gravel seaside path and cyclists have to jostle with motorists for road space, especially around Deans Head where the road is narrow.
There have been at least two crashes in the area in the past two years. A woman died in March last year when a car, driven by her husband, crashed through a barrier and plunged into the sea. A year earlier, two pedestrians were injured when a drink-driver ploughed through the barrier.
Sturdier barriers have since been put in place.
An application for funding under the previous Government’s urban cycleway programme was unsuccessful, but the committee requested staff reapply for funding should there be another round.
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said yesterday that the draft Government Policy Statement (GPS) on land transport earmarked up to $360m for new, safe, cycling and walking infrastructure over the next three years, which was a 250 per cent increase on previous funding.
‘‘The significant level of funding proposed for cycling is an exciting opportunity for Christchurch, which now has the opportunity to continue expanding safe cycle routes across the city.’’
Cr Aaron Keown said the pathway would potentially be the best urban cycleway in New Zealand.
The Christchurch Coastal Pathway incomplete at Moncks Bay. The Christchurch City Council is hoping for Government funds to complete the pathway.