Thursday, July 18, 2024

Wellington on track for more awards

Wellington City Council’s coastal foot and bike route between the city and Motu Kairangi/Miramar Peninsula has taken out a national Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) award for the transformation of Ōmarukaikuru/Pt Jerningham.

At Ōmarukaikuru, the once narrow footpath has been replaced with a wider landscaped area for pedestrians and cyclists.

Mana whenua Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o Te Ika gifted the name Tahitai (one tide/one journey) to the 7km route between the city and eastern suburbs. It forms part of Te Aranui o Pōneke, the plan to eventually have walking and bike paths all the way around Wellington’s harbour Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

The latest awards follow others for the project, including the IPWEA New Zealand best public works project over $5 million won by Council construction contractor, Downer NZ, for the Cobham Drive section; a 2021 On the Go runner-up award for cycling built excellence, and a Living Streets Aotearoa Golden Foot walking award in August. 

Wellington Mayor, Tory Whanau says work completed so far on Tahitai is a great example of how the city is changing to be fit for the future.

“We’re heading for a time where Wellington is carbon neutral, public transport is fast and reliable, and more of us can safely choose to walk and cycle,” the Mayor said.

“Congratulations to everyone involved in this project. From start to finish, it’s a major achievement – and this recognition proves we’re on the right track.”

Ōmarukaikuru/Pt Jerningham pathways signs.

Council City Design Manager, Vida Christeller says at Ōmarukaikuru intermittent existing sections of seawall were connected and made continuous through the installation of 5-tonne precast seawall units.

“These were carefully craned into position, strengthening and better protecting this section of coastline and at the same time creating much more space for people to move through and enjoy. 

“We put in new lookouts, seats, plants and bike racks, and created ways for people to get down to the water and rocky point below. It’s fantastic seeing the new paths and spaces in use and knowing that over the next few years the remaining sections of this route will also be upgraded. We’ll be improving more places along the way where people can stop, spend time, relax or explore.”

Council says detailed design work for seawall upgrades and a continuation of the new paths between Little Karaka Bay and Weka Bay is well advanced. Design work is also under way on the section between Greta Point and Cobham Drive, where more seawall upgrades and high-quality street and public space improvements are planned.

NZIA judges said: “A small-scale intervention that is part of a larger masterplan, this project provides much needed connection to the water’s edge at the city’s fringe, as well as a safe path for pedestrians and cyclists along a tight site. There are a range of spaces for transiting pedestrians and cyclists, as well as places to pause and connect with the coastal environment. Materials and details balance robustness and delicacy and are fit for purpose as they age gracefully in the severe marine environment.”

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