200 celebrate cycle path opening

By Lawrence Gullery

There's been a cautious approach toward pushing the go button for the $10 million second stage of the iWay network, following the opening of the Hastings to Clive section on Sunday.

The 9km walking and cycling route to Clive was the fourth and final track under iWay stage one built by the Hastings District Council with funding from the New Zealand Transport Agency.

Cycling advocate and Hastings Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers said about 200 people turned out to the opening of the track for a celebration ride starting from the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds, near Elwood Rd.

"The Farmers Market [at the showgrounds] was buzzing so it was a nice way to combine the two events. The ride out to Clive was wonderful as it takes you through orchard land, over our new wooden swing bridge [over Karamu Stream] some called the Golden Gate bridge of Hastings.

"It was also great to ride next to the Karamu Stream, albeit a tail wind out to Clive we were battling our way back into a head wind."

With stage one completed, planning now begins on stage two and some of the major projects included a clip-on attached to the Chesterhope bridge across the Ngaruroro River near Pakowhai.

A new track would be built on the southern side of Havelock Rd to complement the one built on the northern side opened earlier this year. An off-road track on Te Mata Rd in Havelock North linking to Waimarama Rd near the Tukituki River was also in the plan.

"The other major one is the over bridge for walkers and cyclists over the Hawke's Bay Expressway to the entrance of Flaxmere," Cr Bowers said.

She said an NZTA representative at the Clive opening confirmed the $10 million package for stage two.

"But they are being quite careful in the way they word it. I would have to say that they are probably looking carefully at whether all of the $10 million will be required.

"The overbridge at Flaxmere is 100 per cent funded by NZTA because it's over a state highway, whereas the other projects are jointly funded with the council.

"So, I think NZTA has to be satisfied they can't get the same result in a more cost effective manner."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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