Second time’s the charm – Waterfront Cycleway is GO

Some months back, one of our most popular posts ever told you about how Council had agreed to budget $9 million (later corrected to $10m) for the Waterfront Cycleway. But this soon turned out to be a misunderstanding (which apparently even affected Waterfront Auckland)  – caught up in a budget disagreement, the project had been voted down after all.

Everyone at CAA was crushed at hearing this. And even people like Brian Rudman, not really known as a cycling fan, weighed in with some recommendations for the project.

But it soon became clear – as we learned at Waterfront Auckland’s Stakeholders’ Forum two weeks ago – that with support of the Mayor, WA had not given up on the project. It is now confirmed that budgets have been reshuffled, and a slightly less fancy boulevard scheme (at just under $6 million) has been approved [link to a second news item].

This is GREAT news – and some new details are also provided to whet your appetites. The new walk- and cycleway will still run from the Auckland Harbour Bridge along the Westhaven Marina to Wynyard Quarter (linking in at a new, more people-friendly Daldy Street). Waterfront Auckland CEO, John Dalzell, notes that:

“… we intend to deliver a walkway and cycleway that meets the high standards of construction consistent with other projects we’ve delivered to date such as Jellicoe Street,”

“This will be more challenging now due to the reduction in funding available for this project, however, we’re confident substantial structures such as the cantilevered boardwalks will still be designed to a very high standard and will be of a generous width and made from quality materials.”

Most of the savings are apparently to come through deferring some items until later – i.e. building the route without extra viewing platforms and the smaller ancillary paths that where to run along the wharves, and by reducing the landscaping somewhat. Which is a shame, but shouldn’t cause the main walk- and cycleway to be any less of a great project.

The project is intended to be completed by 2014 – good on you, Waterfront Auckland!

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