Next year, work will commence on the new highway between Ashhurst and Woodville, a replacement to the beleaguered Manawatū Gorge road. It is all part of Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway, which as a project, has involved a lengthy consultation and submission process and will now include a shared cycle/walk way path running the length of the route.
“While walking and cycling facilities had never been ruled out of the project, the sheer number of submissions highlights the importance of the shared path to the community,” said NZTA spokesperson Sarah Downs.
“It is a safe option for vulnerable modes of transport, will improve health and wellbeing in the community and allow active commuter access along the State Highway between Woodville and Palmerston North.”
The shared path is expected to follow the route of the highway for the most part, however there may be opportunities to move away from the State Highway as and where appropriate.
“The detailed design for the route is yet to be done, as this will be part of the work the preferred Alliance tenderer will manage,” said Ms Downs.
Construction on the highway is expected to commence in 2020, however sections where the new shared path integrates with the existing network such as the Ashhurst Bridge clip-on may be completed earlier. The whole project (including the shared path) is expected to be completed by 2024.
Click here to view an animated flyover of the proposed route.