Funding to construct and complete Dunedin’s Port Chalmers shared path and install highway safety improvements between St Leonards and Port Chalmers has been confirmed by the NZ Transport Agency.
The shared path already runs as far as St Leonards but the last 5 km, the most expensive part on the harbour edge, has been on hold while a number of design options were worked through to provide the best and safest outcome for Dunedin people, users of the path and highway.
The State Highway 88 Dunedin to Port Chalmers Safety Improvement project is designed to increase safety for all highway users, in particular pedestrians and cyclists.
The project involves completing the last 5 km stage of the shared walking/cycling path between St Leonards and Port Chalmers, as well as improvements to SH88, including installing roadside safety barriers and upgrading highway signage. Options for making the SH88/ Finch Street intersection safer and improving pedestrian access to the shared path will also be investigated.
Transport Agency South Island Director of Regional Relationships Jim Harland says the funding of this project is great news for Dunedin, and represents a major road safety investment by the Transport Agency on behalf of the government.
“Many people in the local community and across Dunedin will be thrilled that the final link in the shared walking and cycling path has construction funding.
“Our team has been working through a host of design options to ensure we have a pathway that will help keep people safe, and will deliver the best outcomes for the city’s transport network long term around the harbour edge to Port Chalmers.”
Mr Harland says the Transport Agency and its transport partners the Dunedin City Council and Otago Regional Council, are working together to deliver the best safety outcomes and journey experiences for all users of this route, by improving on-highway safety, and finishing the shared walking/cycling path. “We are providing safer and more convenient connections between local communities, the highway, the shared path and the wider Dunedin cycle network.”
SH88 has been identified as a road that can be made safer as part of the Safe Roads work programme. Crashes on this highway, including a large number involving vehicles leaving the road, can be reduced with measures such as installing road side safety barriers and improved road markings. This improvement work will be carefully managed to ensure the safety of cyclists isn’t compromised, says Mr Harland.
Over the coming months, detailed design and tender documentation for the shared path will be completed and the final consents lodged.
“We are also working with contractors to programme in the first stage of the safety work on State Highway 88. The local community, including the West Harbour Community Board, will have an opportunity to provide feedback on this work.
“The remainder of the safety improvements, which include road markings, signage and the rest of the safety barriers, will be completed alongside the shared path project, which we expect to get underway in 2019 and take an estimated three years to complete.”
The total project, shared path and safety improvements on the highway, will cost between $20 and $25 million and is being funded by the Transport Agency through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP).