Cyclists will line up this morning to ride the first stage of a $13.5 million off-road pedalling "super highway" through Auckland's Grafton Gully.
The Transport Agency is opening a 300m section of an expansive 4m-wide pathway sweeping downhill from Grafton Rd to Alten Rd at 7.30am to give cyclists a taste of a link which will eventually thread through Spaghetti Junction from Upper Queen St.
That will include an underpass of Wellesley St East along a scenic route which will also take cyclists beneath Grafton Bridge, parallel to the final stretch of the Northwestern Motorway but out of harm's way from cars and trucks.
Cycle Action Auckland expects the first stage to be popular with university students, and is calling on pedallers to turn up early this morning to take advantage of free bike checks.
Barring the odd road crossing, the final 1.9km project will complete a 15km cycleway from Te Atatu to Beach Rd for $11 million by the end of next year.
A second stage of construction is starting between Alten Rd and Beach Rd, from where Auckland Transport will spend a further $2.5 million on an extension of the cycleway - much of it to be separated from motor traffic - to the waterfront.
The council expects to complete the link by early 2015.
From there, it will join an existing shared pedestrian and cycling path along the waterfront, soon to be extended as a promenade through Westhaven to the harbour bridge in a $5.8 million project of Waterfront Auckland.