Two major footpath projects in the Bay of Islands - one beside a highway where pedestrians have been killed - are finally nearing completion after years of lobbying for improved safety.

A shared footpath/cycleway from Waitangi to Haruru Falls, a distance of about 3.5km, is due to be finished in November.

In summer many people walk between Paihia and the waterfall or accommodation at Haruru, but the lack of a shoulder in places put pedestrians dangerously close to 100km/h traffic.

Most of the first section, from the Waitangi roundabout to Kaipatiki Rd, was built last year by Kaitaia Contractors for just over $840,000. The remaining work is due to be completed within weeks.


The second section, from Kaipatiki Rd to Yorke Rd, is being built by Broadspectrum for $482,000 and is due to be completed in October. Both sections were put out to competitive tender.

Kathryn Ross, Far North District Council acting infrastructure manager, said the tenders excluded a section of pathway on the hill leading up to Yorke Rd where the route crossed a series of old landslips.

A lower-cost gravel path would be constructed across the slips together with a boardwalk where there wasn't enough room for a path. Costs were still being finalised for that section but it was expected to be finished in November.

Meanwhile, the shared footpath/cycleway from Kerikeri township to the roundabout on State Highway 10 is just weeks away from completion.

Councillor Ann Court said it had taken a trip to Wellington and a "tantrum" - plus the efforts of former infrastructure manager Jacqui Robson - to get the NZ Transport Agency to contribute funding.

Initially the projects were not eligible for subsidies because they were not in an urban area and would not reduce traffic congestion.

"I felt that was unacceptable. We have major safety issues on Puketona Rd, people have died there. Provincial New Zealand should not have to fight for this funding," she said.

Far North firm Buildall Holdings won the tenders for both phases of the Kerikeri Rd project, with the section from town to the Old Packhouse Market built last year for $179,000 and the continuation to SH10 due to be completed in October at a cost of just under $200,000.

NZTA has contributed to both projects, chipping in $180,000 for the Waitangi-Haruru Falls footpath and $255,000 - more than half the total cost - for the Kerikeri Rd footpath.

In 2013 a 53-year-old Haruru Falls man died after he was hit by a car while walking from Paihia to Haruru Falls at night. The motorist was found to be not at fault.

Ms Court said the next step of the Kerikeri Rd project could be to extend the footpath as far as the airport, but that had yet to be formally discussed.