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The finalised route – not shown: connecting path already being built as part of the motorway project in the south, and a future cycleway along the rail line to the southwest to Avondale / New Lynn.

A month ago, at the last Waterview Project CLG (that’s “Community Liaison Group” for those who have NOT spent about 20 evenings over the last years attending these…), the project leader from Auckland Transport provided an overview of the current state of the project. You can view a short presentation he gave here.

The bad news is that it may take up to 2017 for the cycleway to be open. This is 6 years since the funding was approved. Not fast, whatever way you look at it. AT are promising that they will be running some processes in parallel, hoping to speed up the post-consent preparations and maybe have it open by 2016. The Well Connected Alliance, who are already building the tunnel, is understood to take on the job of building it, so they are already on-site and should be able to get right onto it. Knock on wood.

The good news is that the design is pretty advanced for the remaining approvals that are needed, and we understand there has finally been agreement reached on the location of the “Alford Bridge” (from Waterview over to the Unitec side), which had created some difficulties intially to fit it in with the potential development plans for the Unitec area.

Some land purchases in the Phyllis Reserve area and negotiations with affected neighbours at Soljak Bridge are proceeding, with mitigation and compensation (where required).

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Alford Bridge – this bridge will be located very high over the creek, helping make it attractive as a student walk/cycle route to Unitec even at night, compared to the current route which dips deep into the unlit gully on narrow paths and bridges).
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Soljak Bridge over the rail line – the bridge had to be very high due to the rail electrification, and very wide to allow for future extra rail tracks. The two bridges consume most of the $8 million set aside by the Board of Inquiry for the path.
Soljak Bridge seen from above the Solja Place' resident's houses. The red panels (which likely won't be red in the final design) are intended to screen their backyards from nosy passers-by on the bridge...
Soljak Bridge seen from above the locals resident’s houses. The red panels (which likely won’t be red in the final design) are intended to screen their backyards from nosy passers-by on the bridge…
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4 responses to “What happened to… the Waterview Cycleway?

  1. I understand that it’s a good thing to foster more recreational biking – which this will eventually do – but it it doesn’t really offer a practical commuting route for anyone living out west between Kelston and Avondale.

    The geography of the Whau Estuary means there’s currently no really safe way of connecting with the northwestern cycle path if you live in these suburbs. I wish they’d at least paint one of those perfunctory white lines along the footpaths of Rata/Ash/Great North road and declare them “shared paths.” That’s how people out that way are already treating them.

    1. Hi Nick – Actually, I disagree with that. Even if we don’t get wise to arterial cycleways anytime soon, the stub link along the rail line (hopefully to come soon, the LBs want it!) would mean that you have a pretty direct ride from Avondale Train Station onto the Waterview Path and then onto either Northwestern or Southern Cycleway.

      The difference is about 800m on a 4.2km route compared with staying on-road. I think that is attractive even for faster commuters, especially as it will cut out several traffic signals too.

      Also, we need to consider that not all our cycle focus should be on long distance trips. The Waterview cycleway will make it easier for *locals* to ride to nearby schools, to UNITEC, to town centres, friends homes… – this was in fact how the Board of Inquiry supported it. The “connect several longer-distance cycleways” was just one of the aspects.

  2. What takes longer to build, 6 lanes of motorway or a footpath?

    There’s got to be something really wrong with the council.

    Local connections or long distance, a straighter more direct cycleway would be quicker, safer and better patronised.

    Why is it that this, the Tiverton-Wolverton cycle route, and the Dominion road route are all wiggly messes?

    1. The key issue is land ownership. The route goes through various private and third-party areas. Not for a shared path the right to shift everything out of its way to suit IT’S alignment & not for a shared path to get expedited approval processes. So the path has to detour around houses, future sportsfields etc…

      On the positive side, once on the path I do think you will find it more direct than it may look on this map.

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