Cyclists will soon have another reason to visit Gisborne's picturesque Wainui coastline - it's going to be safer than ever before thanks to a new cycleway that has been green-lit by the NZ Transport Agency.
Transport Agency Regional Planning and Investment Manager Delaney Myers says the Agency is thrilled to able to grant full funding for the much anticipated cycleway project between Gisborne and the scenic Wainui coastline.
"The people of Gisborne have told us that this cycleway is important to them, and we've listened and we're thrilled that we have the opportunity to get it done.”
“Wainui Beach is the jewel in Gisborne’s crown, and making it easier and safer to get there will be fantastic news for the Gisborne community.”
Ms Myers says the 3km, $800k project was ranked as a high priority by the Regional Transport Committee, but regional funds were initially fully allocated to the region's top priority, improving access for HPMVs (heavier, high performance trucks) to the region and the Port. However, due to the lower than expected cost of this project, the Agency is able to fully fund the cycleway project. This is due to the Gladstone Road Bridge proving to be structurally sound for HPMV use, freeing up funds for the cycleway that were tentatively earmarked for the bridge’s replacement.
"We recognised that the Wainui cycleway was a high priority for the region, and now that the funds are available we can get moving and build it.
"Gisborne is a busy hub for local industry and tourism, and while we need to support these economic activities through an efficient highway, we recognise that this traffic demand affects the ability of cyclists and pedestrians to get around safely in a 100km/h zone. Now we can fix that.
"Building a dedicated cycleway and pedestrian path will mean the highway can serve everyone's needs. The pathway will support healthy, active living and reduce traffic by providing an incentive for people to hop on a bike or go on foot.”
Ms Myers says the Gisborne region has been very astute in its prioritisation of R funds, which has enabled it to provide an integrated network that provides for both community and industry through better recreational travel alongside better freight.
“Gisborne has invested strongly in opening itself up as a key freight hub while also keeping sight of how important it is to keep its communities safe and friendly for pedestrians and cyclists. This smart balance of transport investment will pay dividends for local industry and tourism, while also making Gisborne more liveable and prosperous.”
Ms Myers says detailed design for the project is just about to kick off and the Transport Agency hopes to substantially complete construction late next year.