With the Auckland Harbour Bridge now set in lights, attention turns to building the SkyPath shared cycle and walking path across the bridge.
The new Labour-led Government has promised $30m to build SkyPath and there are plans to connect it with SeaPath, a 3km cycle and walkway from Northcote Pt and along the motorway to Esmonde Rd in Takapuna at a cost of $33m.
The SkyPath project has suffered a series of setbacks since it received resource consent in November 2016, including Downer Construction pulling out from building it in February last year and, five months later, the SkyPath Trust withdrawing support from the public-private partnership (PPP) formed to build and toll it.
Morrison & Co, the Wellington-based investment company that teamed up with Auckland Council to build and toll SkyPath, said it was no longer engaged with the project.
Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter said the Government was working with the NZ Transport Agency and the council to "determine the best design, delivery and ongoing management of the project".
"Once a preferred design and delivery model is identified we'll have a better idea of the project's overall cost and next steps.
"The Government will consider a range of options for funding the project."
Council chief executive Stephen Town said it was council's understanding that the Government had asked New Zealand Transport Agency to look at delivering the SkyPath and SeaPath projects together.
"The council will continue to work with the NZTA on progressing SkyPath and are optimistic it will be delivered in a timely manner," said Town. He said no formal PPP contract had been entered into and there would be no financial impacts for council.
Bevan Woodward, the driving force behind SkyPath, said it was fantastic that the project was moving to the delivery phase, 14 years after he mooted the idea of a cycleway across the harbour bridge.
He believed the cost would be in the order of $40m to $45m and it was still two to three years away from completion. Detailed design work and some strengthening of the harbour bridge was required before proper construction works could start.