Road less trav­elled: Fund­ing needed for path­way

The Press - - Front Page - TINA LAW

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.

PHOTO: JOSEPH JOHN­SON/STUFF

The Christchurch Coastal Path­way in­com­plete at Mon­cks Bay. The Christchurch City Coun­cil is hop­ing for Gov­ern­ment funds to com­plete the path­way.

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