Sod Turning Marks Start of Cycleway Construction

Despite a cold, wet and windy morning, the first sods were turned on two Urban Cycleways in the Waimakariri District, marking the start of construction of the $2.37million projects.

MP Matt Doocey, Mayor David Ayers and Freddy Declerck turn the first sod on the Passchendaele Memorial Cycle/WalkwayThe two paths will create a much anticipated off-road shared cycling/walking link between Kaiapoi and Rangiora and Rangiora and Woodend. They are jointly funded through the National Land Transport Fund, NZTA’s Urban Cycleways Programme and the Waimakariri District Council. 

Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey says “We know New Zealanders love to get out on their bikes, especially in the Waimakariri, we’re very much a place where people love to get in the outdoors and cycle”.

Mr Doocey and Mayor David Ayers were joined by Freddy Declerck from Zonnebeke, Belgium to carry out the official sod turning for the Passchendaele Memorial Cycle/Walkway at Kaiapoi.

Mayor David Ayers says “1917 was the year of the Battle of Passchendaele where a huge amount of New Zealanders including people from this district lost their lives. It seemed very appropriate to name this cycleway after this very tragic day in New Zealand history”.

The Urban Cycleways Programme is a $100 million investment by the Government to build new off-road cycleways in urban areas that make cycling a safer and more attractive transport choice.

“This is a good partnership between the Government, the Waimakariri District Council and NZTA… Towns like Rangiora and Kaiapoi are now part of Greater Christchurch, these cycleway’s will link into cycleways going into Christchurch City” says Mr Doocey.

Two separate contractors will work on each path with work starting this week. The Passchendaele Memorial Cycle/Walkway will begin at the Mafeking Bridge and work will continue north towards Rangiora. For Woodend, there will be some preliminary tree and hedge trimming and relocation of power poles and underground services needed first, and work will start in early October.

There will be some speed restrictions and shoulder closures adjacent to the work area to keep the crews safe, so please drive with care.

The expected completion date for both cycle/walkways is late April 2018.