The 350m section of pathway in this area is too narrow at busy times to safely accommodate the large numbers walking, biking and running – so the layout on the road side of the trees is being altered to provide more space for people.
Mayor Justin Lester says the changes are the end result of a lengthy and thorough community engagement process.
“Plans were refined following feedback to fairly balance the diverse needs of the thousands of people who have an interest in this popular and very important part of the city.
“The new two-way bike path being built here will connect with the wider shared path beyond the pool, and before long, form part of improved bike connections between the city and eastern suburbs,” he says. “It will also free up more space on the seaward side for people on foot, making this area safer and more enjoyable for everyone.”
Councillor Sarah Free, the Council’s Portfolio Leader for Walking and Cycling, says the work happening in Oriental Bay is just one of many projects that have been approved by Councillors to make it possible for more people to make some trips by bike.
Construction fences will go up next to the eastbound traffic lane and along the seaward side of the trees.
Most of the parking between Herd Street and Freyberg Pool will be out of action while the work happens.
Temporary mobility parking will be provided when the usual spaces are unavailable, and the contractor Downer will work with local businesses to ensure deliveries can happen.
All the angle parking will be reinstated when the construction work is complete, and the road will be resealed and remarked.
During the construction, people on bikes and on foot will be able to use the shared path on the seaward side as usual and get to all businesses and facilities. People on bikes using the shared path will be encouraged to keep bike speeds down, and take extra care.
Diggers, trucks and other machinery will be operating so there will be some noise at times. Work hours will generally be Monday to Friday, 7am to 5pm. Some Saturday work is possible.
Traffic management will be in place around the construction area, including a 30km/h speed limit. The median strip – or sections of the median strip – may be out of action at times during work hours.
The bus stop near Herd Street is being permanently removed and will cease to function as soon as construction begins as it is within the area being fenced off. There are eastbound bus stops nearby at Waitangi Park and Freyberg Pool.
The street changes were unanimously approved by Councillors in April 2018 following a year-long community engagement process and are being made in partnership with the Government and NZ Transport Agency.
The work is expected to be completed during December, ahead of the busiest summer months.