Auckland Transport have today kicked off another large cycling project today – the Waterview Shared Path. This is a project that came about as a result of the advocacy of locals and groups like Bike Auckland during the consenting for the Waterview Connection project and the Board of Inquiry make its construction one of the requirements of the project – although not paid for as part of the motorway project.

Waterview Shared Path - Alford Bridge surface
The Alford St Bridge – Looking East

Construction is beginning on one of Auckland‘s biggest cycling and walking project’s which will improve connections for people travelling through the Auckland suburbs of Mount Albert and Waterview.

The first sod was turned today by the Hon. Paula Bennett representing the NZ Government on the 2.5km Waterview Shared Path in the grounds of Metro Football Club in Phyllis St Reserve.

It was attended by representatives from the organisations collaborating to fund and deliver the path as well as members of the local community.

The Waterview Shared Path is part of the Waterview Connection tunnel and interchange project and will join with other shared paths that are part of the Government’s Urban Cycleway Programme.

The 3.5 metre wide shared cycling and walking path follows Te Auaunga (Oakley Creek) between the Alan Wood Reserve in Mt Albert and Great North Rd in Waterview and will be a convenient way to access local parks, sports grounds, and the Unitec campus. Walkers and cyclists of all ages and abilities will easily be able to access the shared path as it includes low hill gradients to assist prams and elderly people to use it.

The scenic route travels through an area of Mahoe forest and includes three bridges. The bridge crossing Oakley Creek, connecting Great North Road and Unitec, will be 90 metres long, a similar length to Grafton Bridge in the city centre.

The Government through the NZ Transport Agency, together with Auckland Transport (AT) and Albert Eden Local Board have contributed funding for the project which will be built by the Well Connected Alliance (WCA), which is delivering the $1.4bn Waterview Connection project.

Waterview Shared Path - Alford Bridge creek
The Alford St Bridge – Looking South

Starting from the south, the path will begin at New North Rd where it connects with the shared path being build as part of the Waterview Connection project it will cross over to Soljak Pl via a new set of traffic lights that will be installed. It will then pass over the rail line on a new bridge before travelling through Harbutt and Phyllis reserves which will be connected via a 70m long boardwalk. It passes through part of the Unitec site including right through the middle of one of the carparks before getting to the 16m high and 90m long Alford St Bridge where it will connect with the shared path on Gt North Rd.

Waterview Shared Path - Route

And here’s what the bridge over the rail line will look like, it has screens to prevent things being thrown on to the rail line and wires.

Waterview Shared Path - Rail Bridge

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  1. Fantastic news and will no doubt be a much safer way to cycle than using New North Road. The extra traffic crossing on busy NN Road is also much welcomed.

    Do you have any further info on the New Lynn shared path?

  2. Since this project was required part of the original consents the BOI handed down as part of the consents for Waterview tunnels and related motorway works.

    Why is it that these sorts of projects have to wait to the end of the project they’re related to before they even get started?

    Why can’t they build a large chunk of this sooner than later?
    I know some of this is due to AT needing to be involved in route planning, consultation and consenting and such, but surely, if they can ram a set of tunnels and motorways through in short order, they can do the same for the required shared paths as well?

    It will be great when its opened, it would have been even better, considering the ongoing disruption the folks using the cycleway near St Lukes and Waterview have had to endure the last few years, if this was opened a lot sooner.

    1. Yes, the lack of faster process on this (despite a consent condition deeming this route construction – as well as permanent mitigation) is probably the biggest disappointment on an otherwise very exciting project. The whole thing fell over time-wise because it was not included in NZTA’s original Board of Inquriy 9-months-and-done sped-up consenting process. In the end, consenting the shared path took a lot longer than the motorway (though to be fair, the motorway folks took a decade or longer to get their ducks in a row before applying, while AT were working from a standing start for this and had to acquire private land too).

  3. This will be a handy safe link to avoid a nasty section of Great North Road, and also provides some great pedestrian missing links to local destinations However if I’m heading towards the city, I’m not going to head west over Oakley Creek to Great North Road, I’m going to keep riding through Unitec Campus to reach the Carrington Road cycle lanes, much nicer gradient and no doubling back.

  4. Hi Matt – there’s a key correction needed. NZTA is required, as part of the Waterview MOTORWAY, to pay 8 million dollars worth of Waterview Shared Path works. See consent conditions for the project.

    However, the consenting was put on Council/AT, which is where the confusion may come from.

    So yes, this funding IS coming out of motorway money / Watervie project budget. However, there’s top-ups from AT to extend the path (such as to Blockhouse Bay) and to up the quality (such as widening from the 3m required in the condition to 3.5m, and to provide a fancier-looking bridge over Oakley Creek).

  5. The bit of the Southwestern Shared Path in Alan Wood Reserve that is shown on the map is actually open already. It just currently ends in the middle of Alan Wood Reserve, it’s the connection all the way to Maioro Street that will take until 2017.

    This constant pushing out of due dates is frustrating, (this is the first time I have seen 2018 for the New Lynn to Avondale cycleway, previously it was 2017) and pretty worrying given that the UCF funding was supposed to all be spent in 3 years. At the time of the UCF announcement it was stressed use it or lose it.

    What hope is there for the next UCF routes off the blocks if AT are incapable of getting the first routes done in time?

    1. The Urban Cycleways Fund period is from July 2015 – June 2018 (there was a small bit of quick-win funding before that). So mid-2018 is still fine for completing the planned works. With $300-odd million of projects around the country, obviously a number of them will be completed towards the period end (and I suspect a few might end up slightly over).

      1. Yeah that’s the answer I got from Max when I asked him that question at the Bike AKL launch, don’t worry, they’ve got until 2018 to complete them, and it won’t matter if a couple of them aren’t quite finished at the end of the period.

        But I do worry. I worry that 2016 will come and go and all that will have been achieved is Glen Innes stage 1, Quay Street and Nelson stage 2.
        Ian McKinnon and Great North Road will be pushed out to 2017 and everything else will be pushed out to 2018.

        Leaving the majority of the projects to be constructed in 2018 is just asking for some of them to cut when it becomes clear that Auckland can’t achieve them all in tight timescale.

    1. Fingers crossed, that will be in place 2018. That’s lightning fast for Auckland Conditions. And ironically would make it almost twice as fast as Waterview (3.5 years versus 7…)

      1. There’s a separate project for cycling facility improvements to the New Lynn train station and town centre, which will be more area-focussed than a single-route project. It’s likely to start with a open consultation (“What would you like to see improved for cycling in this area?”) later this year (don’t have the exact proposed timeframe in my head right now).

        [That project is also part of the Urban Cycleways, so also has a heightened priority, rather than just “wouldn’t it be nice if”…]

  6. Why the obsession with shared paths everywhere, even when there is space: GI-Tamaki, Domain, Waterview..? Why not build 3 m cycle path + 2 m walking path side-by-side, European style? Maybe with texture change to delineate. Better for walking / running and heaps better for cycling.

        1. Just making a comparison. But we can and should do better for.Avondale – New Lynn. A rail corridor path is very poor compared to fixing up road connections along the way.

  7. Sod turning is a bit late. Construction started late last year on the section south of the Phyllis dog training building and yard. There was been a rough path cut through the scrub and across the bottoms of what were peoples gardens, and a load of gravel dumped. Glad to hear work is resuming.

    $25M is a lot of money for a couple of k’s of footpath. It annoys me that this path is so wiggly.

    “Cycleway, existing” is in a very bad state. The surface is cracked and roughly patched. Some damage was evident after the SH20 drilling rigs had been driving over the path. Then there was the storm 2 winters ago that broke the handrailing of the Gt Nth Rd Oakley creek bridge and damaged the “cycleway”/footpath. There has been a rough path and barricades narrowing the path ever since. Hopefully this can become 3.5m wide too. Its currently a dangerous pinch point essentially at the bottom of hills form both directions.

    1. +1 for that pinch point. I remember when that happened, the pines came down and blocked Gt North Road, and they cleared them away within hours, they found the money to fix the road, but not the shared path which was left with a temporary make do, Same with the Kurt Brehmer walkway which was blocked by a landslip which left pines leaning precariously. That has been closed for two years as well because they can’t find the money to remove the dangerous pines. Council can find the money to fix roads, but ignore walking and cycling.

      And also +1 for the surface of the shared path along Gt North Road. Please can that get fixed when the bridge is built and the waterview path connects to it.

  8. That Carrington Unitec carpark this path dissects. My understanding of the Road Code is that pedestrians have RIGHT OF WAY in these shared spaces, which is fine for the pedestrian users. However, how exactly are cyclists – aka non motorised vehicles – going to be treated/dealt with in this “car park”?

    1. This plus the crossing of the Unitec roads. I ride the Unitec road daily and cars can get a bit swipey pulling in and out of there sometimes, despite driving slower than I ride.
      Further along the path, not sure if those intersecting football pitches are/will be there? (Was that a fifa bribe?)
      +1 for the existing gnr path being a mess. 18+ months since those trees came down at that pinch point, and months since the alford st intersection got a mangled fence too. I know the whole suburb is a construction zone but it’s been far too long now.
      Pedestrian crossings to the whole Waterview suburb need some decent consideration too.

      Trust they will address all these detailed bits appropriately.

      1. The car park section – the car park will be re-arranged to accommodate the shared path (AT have had long discussions with Unitec to get the layouts agreed). Re the internal roads – while the plan may make you think it goes on Unitec’s internal roads, it actually runs in parallel to them.

        The Phyllis Street playing fields are, I understand, another mitigation work at least in part paid by the motorway project, though not really my area.

  9. How does this project link up with the Whau Coastal Walkway. Or is it the same thing. The Whau Coastal Walkway Trust delivering it was set up by Politicians (although that hasn’t been transparent in Media reports) and a few other well worn trustees who’ve been awarded almost a million dollars of pokies money. Would be good to get an independent review and some parameters on council and this new delivery mechanism the advantantages and also the risks.

    1. The Whau Coastal Walkway starts at Olympic Park, and it’s funded by licensing trust money (more alcohol than pokies fwiw). It will go under the railway line at Olympic Park, so should be a doddle to connect it to the Avondale-New Lynn shared path that NZTA are planning to build alongside the railway line.

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