Thursday, May 30, 2024

New Punakaiki pathway proving popular

A new shared walking and cycling pathway through the West Coast community of Punakaiki is proving a hit with locals.

As well as walkers and mountain bikers, wheelchair users and small children learning to ride bikes and scooters are making the most of it, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said in a statement today.

The 4.2km pathway is part of the broader Dolomite Point Redevelopment Project (DPRP) which includes building a new visitor centre to replace the existing DOC facility. It connects the southern end of township at the Punakaiki River with the northern end around the Truman Track.

The government’s regional economic development unit, Kānoa – REDIU, contributed $1.5 million toward the $1.68 million needed to build the path. The balance has come through the Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency Walking and Cycling programme.

DOC project manager, Phil Rossiter says local residents and visitors previously had to make their way along roadside verges, contending with highway traffic, if they wanted to travel on foot or by bike across Punakaiki.

“The shared pathway was a priority for community members during consultations about both the Dolomite Point Redevelopment Project and the Buller District Council’s Greater Punakaiki Masterplan,” he said.

DPRP and council staff worked together to make the pathway happen, Mr Rossiter said.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has managed the build which has been carried out by local subcontractors WestReef, WestRoads and Fulton Hogan.

Final surfacing and marking of the northern section of the pathway will be done once the weather is warmer.

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