Improved year-round access to a section of Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour is now possible after the official opening on Saturday (11 July) of a new footpath linked to New Zealand’s largest-ever roading project – the Waterview Connection.
The revamped Howlett-Waterview Esplanade in the suburb of Waterview replaces a muddy track that was almost impassable in wet weather.
“It’s never easy building a project the size of the Waterview Connection in the middle of a city and both the NZ Transport Agency and our partners on the Well-Connected Alliance are fortunate to get great support from our neighbours,” says the Transport Agency’s Highways Manager Brett Gliddon.
“It’s fantastic to be able to give something back and the re-vamped walkway is the latest example of the many community-based projects to be completed before the tunnels open in early 2017.”
The Howlett-Waterview Esplanade was officially opened during a short ceremony involving around 150 people representing the Waterview community, the Transport Agency, the Well-Connected Alliance and Auckland Council and its Albert-Eden Local Board.
“The NZ Transport Agency has delivered a double win today. The community gets an all-weather walking route along the coast connecting two parks, but just as important is the environmental restoration component which will benefit the adjacent Te Auaunga-Oakley Creek, the Motu Manawa Marine Reserve and the Auckland region’s biodiversity,” says Margi Watson from the Albert-Eden Local Board.
“We look forward to the reopening of Waterview Reserve later this year and continuing the ecological restoration work along the coast over the next three years.”
The Howlett-Waterview Esplanade is 700m long along one bank near the mouth of Oakley Creek and the harbour, connecting Howlett Reserve and Waterview Reserve. As part of the make-over, many invasive plants and weed species have been removed and the walkway re-planted with more than 7000 native trees and shrubs. A new pathway has also been laid, providing safe access in all weathers.