The Western Bay District Council has asked the city council for a further $600,000 towards the Omokoroa to Tauranga cycle trail.

The initial $400,000 the city council contributed to the project "was never enough".

Speaking at the Tauranga City Council annual plan submissions, Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber said the extra funding would ensure they could "reach our goal of the best damn cycleway in the country".

He said the city council's contribution of $400,000 at the beginning of the project had not been enough.

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The whole cycleway, which would run from Bethlehem, over an "iconic" Wairoa Bridge, through Te Puna to the Omokoroa peninsula, would cost $12.24 million.

The design for the Wairoa Birdge, part of the Omokoroa cycleway. Photo/supplied
The design for the Wairoa Birdge, part of the Omokoroa cycleway. Photo/supplied

So far the district council had secured $9.6m funding with a shortfall of $2.64m.

In particular the Wairoa Bridge, hoped to rival the iconic New Plymouth cycle trail bridge Te Rewa Rewa, would cost $7.1m.

Mr Webber, along with district council deputy chief executive Gary Allis, told elected city councillors Tauranga had an interest in investing more into the cycleway.

It would bring more visitors to the area and create a more "vibrant" city and lifestyle in that residents would use it on weekends and become a "recreational focal point".

Mr Allis quoted a 2013 economic evaluation which found visitors to regions that had cycle trails spent an average of between $131 and $176 per person per day.

Mr Webber proposed the additional $600,000 be split between financial years with half coming from the 2017/18 budget and the other in the 2018/19 budget.

Councillor Leanne Brown questioned if the district council would be approaching other groups for more funding and - if they refused - would the city council be expected to front up more.

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Mr Allis said they would apply for a lottery grant once a resource consent application had been lodged for the bridge.

Regional council would be approached for funding as well as NZTA, TECT and NZ Community Trust.

Constructed in sections, a completed section of the cycleway from Tinopai Drive to Lynley Park would be opened in mid-June.

The main construction would occur from October to mid-2018 and include the bridges connecting Omokoroa to Plummers Pt and through to Te Puna.

Committed project funding had so far come from:

NZ Transport Agency Urban Cycleway programme: $1.5m
NZ Transport Agency Highways and Operations: $1.4m
NZ Transport Agency subsidy: $2.4m
Western Bay of Plenty District Council: $1.52m
TECT: $1m
NZ Community Trust: $1m
Tauranga City Council: $400,000
Omokoroa Community Board: $100,000
On Route Developer contributions: $20,000
PowerCo: $100,000