Feb 05 - Construction is officially under way on one of Auckland's biggest cycling and walking projects.

MP Paula Bennett turned sod this morning at the Waterview Shared Path, which will wind through Mt Albert and Waterview.

It is part of the Waterview Connection tunnel and interchange project and will join other shared paths as part of the Government's Urban Cycleway Programme.

The 3.5m wide path follows Te Auaunga (Oakley Creek) between the Alan Wood Reserve, travels through part of Mahoe forest and includes three bridges. The bridge over Oakley Creek, connecting Great North Rd and Unitec, will be 90m long, a similar length to Grafton Bridge in the city centre.

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Albert Eden Local Board member Margi Watson said the shared path would give members of the community "real transport options" besides cars.

"Local landowners, community groups and iwi have remained involved in the design of the bridges to get the best outcome possible. They will be big, but beautiful," Ms Watson said.

Auckland mayor Len Brown said the start on the shared path showed the revolution that's happening for Auckland's transport.

"Five years ago we were very car- and motorway-focused but Aucklanders kept telling me they would cycle and walk more if they felt safer and the terrain was more cycle-friendly."

Through the Government's Urban Cycleways Programme, Auckland Council, the NZ Transport Agency and AT are spending $200 million on cycling improvements in Auckland over the next three years.

Watch a video of a fly-over of the path: https://youtu.be/YiqVwa1j-nw

NZH