Called Tawa Valley Pathway – Ara Tawa, the shared path provides an off-road route between Kenepuru Railway Station and Willowbank Park at the south end of Tawa.
Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said the Tawa shared path is the first of Wellington's strategic routes to be developed. "This project is a terrific example of the Tawa community coming to Council with an idea, which we developed under our 2008 cycling policy and boosted with the increase in funding in 2010. The shared path's completion will encourage more people to walk and cycle in their neighbourhoods," she said.
Councillor Andy Foster, Chair of the Council’s Transport and Urban Development Committee, is pleased to see the $4.2 million project nearing completion and is confident it will be the first of many.
He says more that Ara Tawa is two-thirds complete and work on the final stretch from Redwood Railway Station south is under way.
“It is great to see people using and enjoying the completed parts of the pathway and new connections. This is the first major walking and cycling project in Wellington and will have lasting transport, health and safety benefits for the Tawa community.”
“Next year Porirua City Council are planning to link their existing streamside walkway-cycleway into the northern end of Ara Tawa which begins to open up connections to the north.”
Ara Tawa, which was developed in partnership with the local community’s Tawa Porirua Stream Walkway Committee, follows the Porirua Stream through Tawa, passing through a number of reserves and parks. It provides links across the valley and to local schools, recreational areas and parks, nearby streets and the shopping centre.
Work to widen the existing footpath at Redwood Station is underway . The pathway will be separated from cars parked in the station car park.
A path between the station and Willowbank Park is under construction and expected to be completed before Christmas. A new bridge to cross the stream at Willowbank Park should be completed in March 2014.
There will be some disruption to car parks at the Redwood Station while the pathway there is widened. The northern part of the car park will be affected in December and work on the southern car park will start in January 2014. Contractors will try to keep disruption to a minimum as the work progresses.
The New Zealand Transport Agency is funding just over half of the project. The Council is funding the remainder as part of its ongoing investment in the city’s walking and cycling networks.