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Funding for key piece of Hauraki Rail Trail announced

08 December 2016

A key piece of the Kaiaua to Kopu section of the Hauraki Rail Trail can now be slotted into place. The NZ Transport Agency has announced it will fund a `clip-on’ cycle lane attached to the downstream side of the Piako Bridge, which spans the Piako River on State Highway 25, providing a safe crossing for trail users and road cyclists.

Hauraki Rail Trail and man on bike
(Photo: the bulk of the Kopu to Kaiaua section of the Hauraki Rail Trail is expected to be completed by April 2017.)

Hauraki District Council, Thames-Coromandel District Council and the Transport Agency have each contributed $1 million to the $4.2 million cost of completing the final leg of the trail.

The Transport Agency’s Regional Director, Parekawhia McLean says the 250m lightweight steel and timber clip-on will provide a safe off-road river crossing for trail users.

“This is a fantastic example of a co-investment approach between Government and the two councils. We have all worked together to get the clip-on lanes and this stage of the project underway.”

The Kopu to Kaiaua leg of the trail runs mostly along the top of the stop banks beside the Firth of Thames, bordering one of the most important areas for shorebirds in the country.

Hauraki District Mayor John Tregidga is delighted the Transport Agency has agreed to help bring the seven year Hauraki Rail Trail project to the verge of completion.   

“The New Zealand Cycleway project, Nga Haerenga, has provided a huge boost for the regions, both economically and socially, and it all began right here in Hauraki,” he said.

“The Hauraki Rail Trail was the first New Zealand Great Ride to open so the completion of the final section from Kopu to Kaiaua is a significant milestone for us.”

Thames-Coromandel Mayor Sandra Goudie says on top of realising the councils’ vision of creating a true, multi-day cycling experience, the completion of the final section will bring Auckland cyclists that much closer to the Coromandel and the Hauraki Plains on a safe, scenic route.

"The rail trail is such a great asset for the region. We'd like to thank the Transport Agency for pitching in with this great project," she says.

Work on the Piako Bridge clip-on has begun  and track construction is back in full swing following an unscheduled break over winter due to adverse weather conditions. A further $1.2 million is still needed to cover the last 15km from Pūkorokoro/Miranda to Kaiaua but it’s expected the bulk of the new section of the trail will be ready to ride in April next year.

Meanwhile Auckland Council is looking at the possibility of building a cycleway from the city to Kaiaua to link up to the Hauraki Rail Trail.

Fore more information on the Hauraki Rail Trail, go to our web page www.tcdc.govt.nz/hrt

The Hauraki Rail Trail is a partnership between Hauraki District Council (HDC), Thames Coromandel District Council (TCDC), Matamata-Piako District Council (MPDC), Hauraki Rail Trail Charitable Trust and the Crown. New Zealand Cycle Trails, Department of Conservation, the Transport Agency, and Waikato Regional Council have also contributed to the project.

The final step in the process will be getting approval for the new trail to hold Great Ride status as part of the Hauraki Rail Trail and to join the Nga Haerenga brand. This process is already under way and will start with a track inspection to ensure the new trail meets Nga Haerenga design specifications for a Grade 1-2 trail. This will be followed by a formal application to New Zealand Cycle Trail Incorporated requesting Great Ride status.

Safe river crossing

Piako River Bridge

(Photo: The Piako River Bridge. NZTA is funding the cycleway attachment that is being clipped on to the Piako River Bridge. It will allow cyclists to cross the river in safety, separate from motorists on SH25.)

Map of Kopu to Kaiaua cycleway route

(Map: The cycleway runs along stopbanks past some of best locations for spotting migratory shorebirds in New Zealand.)