Construction of Auckland's most ambitious cycleway yet, a $40 million project from Glen Innes to Tamaki Drive, begins this week.
A 7.3km pathway to be shared by pedestrians and cyclists will be built in four stages, starting with a section from Merton Rd in Glen Innes to St Johns Rd.
That part of the joint project of Auckland Transport and the Transport Agency is due to open late next year, and the final spectacular leg of the route - across Hobson Bay to Tamaki Drive - by the end of 2018.
Auckland Transport is stumping up $16 million, against the Government's share of $24 million.
Transport Minister Simon Bridges will put his back with Auckland Mayor Len Brown into a sod-turning ceremony for the new cycleway tomorrow before construction starts on Thursday.
The mainly concrete cycleway will follow the eastern railway line to create what AT predicts will be one of the city's most scenic bike rides, and will be about 4m wide. That means an existing boardwalk across Orakei Basin will have to be upgraded.
The designers are promising good lighting to extend hours of use, especially in winter. Although the route is hilly in places, Auckland Transport says the path's design will keep gradients as gentle as possible.
The project will follow a $13.9 million cycleway being built over Spaghetti Junction and down Nelson St to the waterfront, of which the first stage to Victoria St is due to open in December.
All seven sections of a 160m bridge from near Upper Queen St to a disused motorway offramp being incorporated into the project are now in place.
Other bike projects to be developed around Auckland over the next three years under $88.73m of joint Government and council funding will include a long-awaited extension to the Northwestern Cycleway, to take it up Ian McKinnon Drive to Upper Queen St.
Pedallers and walkers will then have a choice of turning left to the Nelson St cycleway or right to the Grafton Gully bike path. Cyclists can then use a $6.5m council bikeway to reach the waterfront, and will be able from 2018 to enjoy off-road rides all the way to Glen Innes.