Lightpath temporary closure
Lightpath/ Te Ara i Whiti and the Canada St Bridge will be closed for repairs and resurfacing, from 1 March for approximately nine days, weather-dependent. Here’s the official press release. In lay terms, the path is getting a fresh coat and some sunscreen to make it last. Bring on the bright-pinker future! The timing isn’t ideal – but it’s hard to see when would have been better, as good weather is needed to make the resurfacing bond properly.
Naturally, as soon as the closure was announced, questions came flooding in. The queries from bike folk are particularly engaged and specific, so we passed your Frequently Asked Questions on to NZTA, who’ve supplied answers below.
The question of proper detours is obviously top of mind, especially for the hundreds of regular users who travel the Lightpath to get to the protected lane on Nelson St and thus to the west side of the CBD. Grafton Gully is an off-road option for getting to downtown, but takes you out of your way if you’re headed west. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions for getting around this temporary gap in the network.
Our thanks to NZTA’s comms team for answering your questions. If you have further queries, let us know in the comments and we’ll do our best to source answers for you.
Lightpath resurfacing FAQs
Why now? Why not close it when it’s a bit colder and not so many cyclists are using it?
It’s important that we have the right temperature and warm, dry conditions as any form of moisture or dampness in the area will affect the quality of the bonding.
Is this timed to fit with March madness for maximum road chaos?
The maintenance work was originally meant to be undertaken in December and has already been delayed a few times due to the busy summer holiday period, when the path gets maximum use by cyclists and pedestrians.
Why does the entire width of the cycleway need to be closed at once?
The path needs to be completely fenced off due to the nature of the work being carried out. Closing off only parts of the path may affect the bonding and, therefore, the long term durability of the surface.
What does the revamp entail?
The revamp involves refreshing the magenta colour of the path and applying UV protection to ensure it retains a long-lasting pigment. Contractor Resin Surfaces will be using a UV-resistant marine grade exterior coating aliphatic resin, generally used on boats, to make the surface more durable.
The test patch looked very shiny. Hope it won’t be slippy when it rains?
While there is a high sheen to the test patches on the path, these have been comprehensively tested for skid resistance. The path never has been, nor ever will be, slippery due to wet weather.
Why is Auckland Council paying to resurface an NZTA route?
The Lightpath’s magenta surface was initially funded by Auckland Council, and comes out of their budget. The estimated cost of the refresh and UV protection is $115,000, which will be funded through money previously set aside by Council from the City Centre Targeted Rate.
Are cyclists being provided a safe detour route whilst this is closed like they do for cars?
There will be no detour routes while the work is being completed. However, various alternative cycle routes are available online via Auckland Transport’s maps. These maps are ideal to help cyclists figure out their temporary routes. We encourage people to plan their journey/cycle routes beforehand.
Glad to see it getting fixed as the surface is coming apart, but if it was a road, no way it would get closed for a week or more.
The Lightpath is not a road, it is a path for cyclists and pedestrians – and it is also, very uniquely, painted bright pink! The path will need to be fully closed as the resurfacing work is much more complex than putting down a normal road surface. There are about five layers of coating which need to be applied, including resin, aggregrate and UV protection.