A new 47 metre long seawall has been built in Ahuriri after cyclists and pedestrians were forced to cross the Hawke's Bay Expressway due to dangerous conditions on the underpass.
According to Hawke's Bay Regional Council, flooding of the Ahuriri Lagoon cycle trail occurs at the four underpasses due to the low lying nature of the trail as it passes under the expressway and the old Embankment Bridge.
The trail at these locations is inundated for 30 per cent of all high tides as a result.
A HBRC spokeswoman said as the water receded, the trail was often left covered in debris and silt while the surface became slippery in places, making it unrideable and unsafe for most users.
"Some cyclists and walkers chose to cross the Hawke's Bay Expressway, while others opted for longer detours that used formal road crossings," she said.
As a result, crossing of the expressway was not considered a safe long-term option and work to address the issue began in 2017.
Improvements have been made at three of the four underpasses, including the northern one which has the option of using the Watchman Rd detour at high tide. That provides a safe cycleway crossing of State Highway 2.
To address the southern expressway underpass, it was decided to build a 47 metre long seawall next to the cycle path.
The underpass was officially opened by Tourism Minister and Napier MP Stuart Nash on Wednesday.
A formal blessing of the new works was done by Te Taiwhenua o Te Whanganui ā Orotu chairman Hori Reti.
The total cost of the projects was $330,000 – made up of $125,000 of NZ Community Trust funding, $125,000 from HBRC and $80,000 from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
The Ahuriri Lagoon cycle trail forms part of the Hawke's Bay Trails Water Ride - one of the 22 Great Rides of Ngā Haerenga, The New Zealand Cycle Trail.
Construction of the seawall was carried out by McNatty Construction Ltd and overseen by NZTA.