Recently I was riding along the Twin Streams cycle path back towards Te Atatu and when I got to the motorway I thought, “What if I could ride under this bridge and take a short, off road, trip back home along the waters’ edge?”
Is there the potential to link the Twin Streams shared path to Te Atatu North? This could provide an additional, off road, connection for Te Atatu South and North (Peninsula) to replace those lost when the Northwestern Motorway was built decades ago.
Initial discussion with a local Forest and Bird representative indicated that they would like to see the area cleaned up and used. This could be a very good opportunity to continue the mix of environmentally sound walking/cycling projects and looking after and enjoying our wonderful streams and harbour edges, as pioneered by the Twin Streams Project.
I’ve been told that Rutherford High School have in the past looked into the ecology of this part of the river and if easy access to the river could be restored then it could pave the way to get both the school and the community interested in keeping the area tidy and free of rubbish.
When the idea of an underpass was floated to an NZTA engineer, he indicated that there are no real issues other than the potential for the underpass to flood several times a year due to height issues under the bridge.
Is this an issue? And if so, can the underpass be built to cope? Could it lead to a solution like a sunken underpass that will allow passage even during storms and spring tides? Here is what some cleaver engineers have done in the Netherlands to get across a moat without a ‘real’ bridge. I figure that such a solution would be pricey but the engineering and the view would in itself have the potential to draw walkers and cyclists alike.
Once under the motorway bridge, I would envisage off road links to Rutherford High School, Gloria Park, Bridgens Avenue, Springbank Lane, River Road with the possibility, in the future extend the path and link to the existing coastal walkway.
If you are like the scheme – or would like to help – sing out in the comments section!