A long-awaited section of the Te Awa River Path has officially reopened and is now ready to welcome back users for the first time in two years.
This section of the popular river path has been closed since mid-2018 after slips compromised the stability of the path. At a ceremony to officially open the path today, Mayor Southgate said she was “absolutely thrilled” the path is open in time for summer.
“The river ride path is one of Hamilton’s most popular outdoor spaces and these repairs have been a long, long time coming – too long. We know the public have been waiting for the path to be useable for a long time so it’s fabulous to see this section finally back up and running in time for the warmer months. And it means I can use my electric bike more which is brilliant!”
Funded in partnership with Hamilton City Council, Waka Kotahi and the Provincial Development Unit, the project included more than 2.4 kilometres of enhancements on the western side of the river.
More than 15,000 plants were used in the project, which focused on embracing the natural environment and opening up the city to the river. It provided jobs for 50 people and provided practical, hands on training to teach lifelong skills.
Last month the fast-tracked, five-month project won Hamilton City Council a national infrastructure award for Excellence in Social Impact. The award was presented as part of a major symposium on rebuilding the country from the impacts of Covid-19.
“There have been a lot of wins from this project and the fact that the costs were shared between three partners is one of them. But it’s also been great to see 50 people employed and gaining skills that some of them are already using in new jobs. It’s been a great outcome for the city and shows how working in partnership can deliver great results,” Mayor Southgate said.
“Schick Civil Construction did a great job and went above and beyond to deliver really good outcomes for the city.”
Deputy Mayor Geoff Taylor said the river paths offered users a safe network for alternative transport and provided a vital link to the central city.
“We’re doing everything we can to make it easier to get people into the central city and providing safe cycling paths is part of that. It’s part of a much wider programme of work to enhance the city and turn it around to face the river, as it should.”