Walkers and people on bikes in the Waikato received a boost on Monday 30 September as Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter announced the start of construction on the first section of the 20km Cambridge to Hamilton Te Awa shared path.
The path, which runs from Hamilton Gardens to Cambridge’s Avantidrome, will be an important link for the Tamahere community, as well as linking together the existing routes that will make up the full 60km Te Awa River Ride.
Minster Genter says she is confident the shared path between Cambridge and Hamilton will be a fantastic addition to the network of cycle trails in the Waikato, and says she expects up to 225 walkers and cyclists to use the pathway each day.
“In addition to providing safer cycling and walking links to key facilities such as the school, shops and the church for the Tamahere community, this final link in the Te Awa shared path will bring further recreational and tourism opportunities to communities along the mighty Waikato River.”
The path will be predominantly off-road and will follow the banks of the Waikato River in places. It will also include bridges over stream gullies and boardwalks.
Hamilton City Council Project Engineer Pune Brown says the shared path from Lake Karapiro to Ngaruawahia will help link people to the places that bring people together.
“I think it will give people like me the chance to get out of our comfort zones knowing that If we’re biking or walking, we will be safe. I will be able to treat my family to a picnic or treat myself to getting out and exercising.”
The New Zealand Transport Agency delivered section of the Te Awa shared path is expected to be completed within six months and will cost $7.9 million.
In total, the cost of the full 20km shared path between Hamilton and Cambridge is estimated to be approximately $20 million. The three councils are expected to begin construction of their sections within the next year, with the full path complete by 2021.