Construction of stage one of the shared pathway from the City Bridge to the North Mole has been given the go-ahead.
Whanganui District councillors voted on Tuesday to give the green light to the stage, which will run from the City Bridge to Bedford Ave. The entire project includes extending the pathway to the Whanganui River mouth and building Te Tuaiwi (St John's Hill to St Hill St) pathway.
The inner-city cycleway will connect with the mountain-to-sea cycleway.
Councillors largely backed getting stage one under way, but Rob Vinsen was concerned about the cost to ratepayers.
"It's not greatly used down there in terms of numbers of people," he said at Tuesday's council meeting. "What really concerns me is where it goes from there. I think there's some substantial costs involved from there on."
Whanganui has had funding approved for the entire city cycleway, which includes Te Tuaiwi and the city to the North Mole leg, scoring $1.37 million from the New Zealand Transport Agency and $1.09 million from the Government. The council will be expected to provide the remaining $810,000.
Councillor Jenny Duncan said that, while she wished it was fully government-funded, it would be worth it.
"We'll be able to create something that's of great benefit to Whanganui and something that we can be part of."
Councillor Helen Craig also backed the project. "This is going to be something absolutely fantastic, and it needs to be done properly. This is going to be a great asset, and I will actually challenge all councillors to cycle it when it's finished."
Mayor Annette Main said it was an important connection between the city and Castlecliff for both walkers and cyclists.