Getting round Mangawhai, whether on foot, bike of motor vehicle, should get easier, and safer, with work starting on phase one of the Mangawhai shared path and Village intersection improvements.
Construction on the project will start later this month, with the work largely funded by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and the Infrastructure Reference Group - through MBIE - with Kaipara District Council contributing around $500,000.
Phase one includes constructing the section of the shared path on Molesworth Dr from ITM down to about 80m past Estuary Dr, as well as two roundabouts at the Insley St/Moir St intersection and Molesworth Dr/Moir St intersection.
The work is part of a wider shared path network planned for Mangawhai, improving safety and connectivity between its two centres, and making it easier to travel by foot, bike or scooter along a part of busy Molesworth Dr.
In the Village, the two roundabouts and adjacent path upgrades improve the safety for vehicles, cycles and pedestrians, and traffic flow of the current intersections at Insley St/Moir St and Molesworth Dr/Moir St.
Kaipara Mayor Dr Jason Smith is excited to see this much-needed work come to life.
"Mangawhai is by far the fastest growing area in our district, and this work will significantly ease some of the congestion and safety issues that have come with the increase in people and visitors,'' Smith said.
''Improving connectivity for all types of users – those on foot, by scooter and bike, as well as car, is critical for community wellbeing. I'm looking forward to a future riding on this shared path myself."
Project manager Tim Manning said as part of the work, the team will have to remove a number of Norfolk pines on Molesworth Dr.
"The team is working to retain as many of the Norfolk pines wherever possible, and those being kept will be protected by 'tree bridges' that involves raising the pathway up above the roots," Manning said.
"There are some pines that will have to be removed. Unfortunately a number have been identified as unstable due to damage over the years by private development. There are also some other pines that sit directly in the path route."
The project includes planting a diverse range of native trees and shrubs along the shared path route.
The construction contract has been awarded to United Civil Construction. Traffic management will be in place in both areas, and the work is expected to be complete by May 2022.
Detailed design is under way for the next section of the shared path (phase two) and construction is planned to start under the next Long-Term Plan (2021-2024), pending funding approval. Phase two continues from the end of phase one through to Mangawhai Central and includes a boardwalk running alongside the causeway.
The detailed designs for both the first section of the shared path and the Village intersection improvements are available at www.mangawhaicommunityplan.co.nz.