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Friday, 16 November 2018 11:41 pm

Wainuiomata Hill’s Shared Path project worth wait for mayor

May 25th, 2018 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Front Page Layout, Latest News

The shared path project over Wainuiomata Hill is under way and is expected to open in July 2019.

Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace is excited that pedestrians and cyclists can travel safely from Lower Hutt to Wainuiomata.

“We’re very pleased because it now means that the biggest suburb of Lower Hutt, Wainuiomata, will now have a safe walkway and cycleway entry and exit, where previously it has been a very dangerous area,” Mr Wallace said.

Wainuiomata has a population of over 18,000.
“This has been a high priority for council for a number of years, so I am pleased as Mayor that we are able to get this underway.”

The project has been in the making for over 20 years, but only started with the installation of the Pukeatua Bridge in 2015.

The 4m shared path is the second stage of the project, which will include improved LED street lighting and roadside barriers to protect pedestrians from the traffic.

The Hutt City Council has been working with the NZ Transport Agency for government funding, of nearly two thirds of the $8 million cost.

“It has been a long time coming just because of the sheer cost.

“But it’s got to pay dividends for Wainuiomata and the city because it’s going to give people the opportunity to come up and use the mountain bike park and the wonderful lookout.”

Workers on the shared path don’t start their work until 9:30 every day, so they don’t interfere with the morning traffic rush.

“There’s very little disruption to the motorists which is good. They’re very conscious of any disruption because there’s 20,000 cars that come over here a day.”

The walkway will also mean the public will have easy access to use the mountain bike park, which is ranked the fourth best mountain bike park in New Zealand.

Mr Wallace says since the installation of the Pukeatua Bridge, regional tourism for Wainuiomata has increased.

“We’ve met people from Levin, Kapiti, Wairarapa.

“They all come down to this mountain park so it is a popular place which was originally started by the young students at Wainuiomata High School, and council have helped with putting in some investments to help finish it.”

Mr Wallace has been pushing for the project since he was the Wainuiomata city councillor over a decade ago.

“I’m absolutely over the moon, I’m really pleased that we were able to get the funding. I genuinely believe that we’re going to see thousands of people here using it every week,” he says.

“This will benefit the entire city.”

Future plans for the Wainuiomata project include further investment in the mountain bike park, extending the car park facilities, recreating the Wainuiomata mall, and a new family dog park.

This will be the first official dog park in Lower Hutt, he says.

“Wainuiomata is really going ahead, and it’s seen the largest number of new homes being built in recent history. Now there’s eight major housing developments going down in Wainui.

“The only other time it’s had the level of development was when Wainuiomata was being built back in the 60s.”

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