Cyclists are calling for the bumpy asphalt on the new $14.4 million Tamaki Drive cycleway to be ripped up and replaced with concrete.
Auckland Transport acknowledges the cycleway has some undulations, but says the repairs will be done in asphalt, which is more suitable for cycleways near tree roots.
"It's a wonderful concept, but by gosh, the quality is just poor and it will cause injury," said Su Nicholson, of Bike Tamaki Drive.
She said one of the group's 426 members described the new surface as "like going mountain biking on a road bike".
Replacing it with concrete would be in keeping with the concrete section from The Strand and along Quay St to downtown Auckland, the group and other cyclists say.
AT is copping flak for the asphalt, laid by Downer, on the 2.3km cycleway from the end of Quay St to Ngapipi Rd. The two-way separated cycleway will also connect with cycle routes to Glen Innes and Parnell.
The $14.4m project also involves raising a section of Tamaki Drive by half a metre to protect against seasonal flooding from king tides that sometimes closed the road.
Shortly after the new surface was opened around Christmas, Richardson emailed project manager Honwin Shen to say the path was undulating, pitted, bumpy and had the beginnings of potholes, saying it would force more cyclists to use the road.
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Cyclist Brian Maginness said he had cycled twice on the new asphalt surface and found it substandard, particularly compared to the concrete section on Quay St.
If they insisted on asphalt, it needed a proper base and to be compacted, Maginness said.
Another cyclist, who did not want to be named, said concrete is a more durable surface, saying he believed most of the cycleways in Auckland are concrete.
"Some of the newer ones are asphalt, eg from Lincoln Rd to Westgate. That is an okay ride but I still don't think as good as the older mostly concrete one from town to Lincoln Rd.
"A good concrete case study is the path from the Northwestern Motorway to Henderson up the creek. It is quite old and still in overall very good condition. These things are so expensive and disruptive to build, we want them to last as long as possible," the cyclist said.
An AT spokesman said tree roots can cause the pavement to fail.
"Asphalt surfacing helps even out these deformities rather than create a steep joint or a split which could happen if the cycleway was concrete and moved because of the tree roots," he said.
The spokesman said asphalt is the approved surface treatment for cycleways in the AT Transport Design Manual and provides a smooth ride and good slip resistance. It is also more economical than concrete.
He said the cycleway on Quay St was constructed with concrete to achieve consistency with the Stage 1 Quay cycleway near downtown.