Another piece of Christchurch’s cycleway puzzle is in place with the opening of the latest Major Cycle Route on Friday.
The ribbon on the Puari ki Kahuhura Heathcote Expressway was cut by Heathcote Ward Councillor, Sara Templeton and Christchurch City Council Deputy Mayor, Pauline Cotter alongside Waihoro Spreydon-Cashmere-Heathcote Community Board Member, Tim Lindley; Waitai Coastal-Burwood-Linwood Community Board Chair, Paul McMahon; Waihoro Spreydon-Cashmere-Heathcote Community Board Chair, Callum Ward; Linwood Ward Councillor ,Yani Johanson and pupils from Te Tihi o Kahukura Heathcote Valley School.
The first section of the cycleway which connects the Central City to The Tannery opened in 2019.
The new route runs from The Tannery along Cumnor Terrace beside the Ōpāwaho Heathcote River, then onto Vaila Place before cutting through Kennaway Reserve along State Highway 74. It then crosses Scruttons Road before following the railway tracks to Truscotts Road and Martindales Road in the heart of Heathcote Valley.
It includes a mix of pathway and boardwalks, as well as new fencing along the route, lighting for visibility and safety and two new railway crossings.
“I am so thrilled to see this cycleway open today, it has been hugely anticipated by the local community and will provide another safe option for people to use,” Cr Templeton said at the opening.
“It’s so important to have the key connection from tourist attractions, Ferrymead Heritage Park and the Gondola, to The Tannery and then onto the Central City, as well as connecting local communities along the way.”
Cr Templeton says the Heathcote Expressway and the Coastal Pathway will play key roles in improving safety for cyclists and other road users.
“Thirteen percent of adults in Ōtautahi don’t have a driver’s licence, 7% of households don’t own a car and that’s important to remember. This cycle way offers a safe, accessible and independent way for everyone, including our rangatahi, to travel,” she says.
“There are still many cycle routes still under development, and I can’t wait for the day when our city-wide network is fully established.”
During construction, the Council also took the opportunity to remove the invasive pampas grass alongside Tunnel Road and plant more than 271 trees and 7,734 plants – largely native species – to enhance the natural environment.
The project cost $13.8 million with $8.2m from Rau Paenga through the Government’s Shovel Ready programme.