The Mayor and Councillor Pepperell try out the shared pathway
The development of a new walking and cycling path for Tawa residents has taken another step forward after the completion of the second stage of the shared pathway.
A 5km pathway is under construction from Willowbank Park to Kenepuru Railway Station. The path will follow the rail corridor and will track the course of the Porirua Stream for much of its length.
The most recently completed section of the pathway is between Redwood and Tawa train stations. Over the past year, sections of the path have been constructed along Findlay Street, Duncan Street and Luckie Street. Around 2km of the pathway has been developed so far and Tawa residents are already making use of the route.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says she is pleased to see the new walking and cycleway taking shape. "It's great to see people using the path already and once it is completed many more people will be encouraged to walk and cycle in their neighbourhood."
The Council's Walking, Cycling, Motorcycling and Safety Portfolio Leader, Councillor Bryan Pepperell, says the path creates a safe walking and cycling route which provides the local community with better access to the five train stations along the path and links to reserves, community facilities and shops.
"Children at the schools near the pathway will also have an attractive off-road route they can use to get to and from school," he says.
Construction will soon begin in McLellan Street and Beauchamp Street with a pedestrian crossing over Linden Avenue to link to the recently constructed path on Findlay Street.
A cross-valley link between Hampton Hill and Tawa College will then be created. This will include the development of a path from Victory Crescent to Main Road, an upgraded pedestrian crossing on Main Road, a pathway through Tawa Pool car park, and a new crossing on Duncan Street. This crossing, in front of Tawa College, will be constructed during the summer holidays. Speed bumps will be placed to the south of the crossing to reduce vehicle speeds on Duncan Street in order to make the pedestrian crossing safer.
A ramp and pedestrian crossing over the railway line near Tawa College is also planned. The ramp construction will occur in early 2012 while the Tawa Pool is closed. The railway crossing will be completed as part of the last stage of the cross-valley link in mid-2012. Construction has been scheduled to fit in with KiwiRail's work programme.
"We're very proud of the new route," says Brett Gillies, the Chairman of the Porirua Stream Walkway Committee. "It's great to be working with the Council on this project which will have lasting benefits to our community."
The path will be completed by late 2013 and the committee plans to involve local schoolchildren in a competition to name it.
The $3.5 million project is jointly funded by Wellington City Council and the NZ Transport Agency, which is meeting 53 percent of the cost.