Construction of the Petone to Melling cycleway is set to get underway following a ground-breaking ceremony today to mark this next stage of Te Ara Tupua – the project to create a walking and cycling link from Wellington to Lower Hutt.
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter and representatives of Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency were joined at the ceremony by members of iwi mana whenua, Taranaki Whanui, who are in partnership(external link) with the Transport Agency on the Te Ara Tupua project.
Transport Agency Director of Regional Relationships Emma Speight says the Petone to Melling cycleway will provide a safe, separated alternative for people on bikes, away from busy traffic on State Highway 2 or Hutt Road.
“This is one part of the plan to connect Wellington and the Hutt Valley for people using bikes and getting around on foot. People in this region tell us they want to cycle more, but they don’t feel safe without separated routes connecting places they need to be.”
The Transport Agency is progressing work on Te Ara Tupua in two sections – Ngauranga to Petone and Petone to Melling. The Ngauranga to Petone section is at the design and consenting stage. Wellington City Council is leading walking and cycling improvements between Wellington and Ngauranga, including the completed Hutt Road improvements.
“The Petone to Melling section of Te Ara Tupua will eventually connect to the Ngauranga to Petone shared path which, when complete, will provide an easy connection towards central Lower Hutt and beyond, and transform walking and cycling options for people in the Hutt Valley and Wellington.
“Construction of the Petone to Melling section is expected to take approximately 18 months. By the time it opens, we will be well into the consenting process for Ngauranga to Petone,” Ms Speight says.
The Petone to Melling section includes two new rail underpasses, at Parliament Street in Melling, and south of Petone train station. At its northern end it will tie in to the Hutt River Trail, and to the south it will connect with Hutt Road and, in future, the harbour-side link between Ngauranga and Petone.
This section will cost approximately $30 million. Funding of $1 million has been contributed by Hutt City Council, while the remainder is funded by the Transport Agency from the National Land Transport Fund.
“Together with our partners – iwi mana whenua and the local councils - we are working hard to deliver Te Ara Tupua and create a safer route between Wellington and the Hutt, and a valued community and recreational asset,” Ms Speight says.
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