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Shared Path phase one celebrated

 

 

JULIA WADE

5 Sept, 2022

 

thumbnail 17 MF-Sharedpath1a copy-609Fifteen months ago in May 2021, a crowd gathered in Mangawhai Village to bless the start of one of Kaipara’s most ambitious projects, which saw incredible engineering feats, massive earthworks, a sea of orange cones and hi-vis as well as stop-go lights and the unforgettable long traffic jams. More recently on August 29, 2022, a similar group again came together, this time to mark the completion of the first stage of the ambitious project.

Phase One of Mangawhai’s Shared Path is officially complete and those involved returned to outside Mangawhai ITM along Molesworth Drive, to the site where the first clod of earth was turned.

Kaipara District Council (KDC) iwi relations manager Francis Toko blessed the site, surrounded by elected members, KDC staff, United Civil construction workers and local iwi. Mangawhai-Kaiwaka councillor Jonathan Larsen has been an advocate for getting safety improvements along Molesworth Drive for a number of years.

“It’s fantastic to finally see these works being done,” he says. “Once completed the Shared Path is going to be an amazing asset to the local area, safely linking the Village and the Heads. The project wouldn't have been possible without the external funding provided by former Minister Shane Jones through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF). I also want to acknowledge the timely work of my fellow councillor Peter Wethey behind the scenes, to help make this happen.”

Along with the $2.4 million from the PGF, the project was also funded by Waka Kotahi NZTA, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Infrastructure Reference Group, along with a $500,000 contribution by KDC.

Phase One covers the section along Molesworth Drive from ITM to around 80 metres past Estuary Drive, as well as the two roundabouts in the Village, and is part of a wider Shared Path network plan to improve connectivity between the Heads and Village along the busy artery road.

The project also had a shadow side however, with local Village businesses in particular adversely affected when shoppers avoided the area due to traffic congestion and long wait times.

Originally the first phase was expected to be completed by May this year, however Covid, resourcing and the weather have proved to be major road blocks, project manager Tim Manning says.

“It has been frustrating that it’s gone on so long, we acknowledge the disruption the works have caused, the guys here have had to deal with a lot of challenges,” he says. “However, the crew have put a huge amount of effort in and, as it’s important for us to interact well with the public, their approach has been extremely friendly and pleasant, they stayed strong, carried themselves well in the trying times and got the job done.”

Mangawhai-Kaiwaka councillor Peter Wethey says the opening of stage one marked the completion of the first part of one of council's most significant infrastructure projects in Mangawhai.

“The roundabouts are already providing relief from the traffic congestion which was an increasing problem with the continuing growth within the community, and the portion of the Shared Path located along the edge of the Mangawhai Community Park is attracting increasing patronage from runners, walkers and cyclists. Stage two of this project is about to commence and this will further link the community in the Village with that in the Heads,” he says. “The benefit that this will bring to Mangawhai is huge, I look forward to its final completion with great anticipation.”

 

“Stage two of this project is about to commence and this will further link the community in the Village with that in the Heads.”

– Cr Peter Wethey

 

 

 

Fifteen months after the project began the Shared Path team came together again to mark the completion of the first stage of the ambitious project. Pictured from left, Northland Transportation Alliance (NTA) KDC asset manager Andy Brown, NTA roading manager Greg Monteith, KDC Shared Path project manager Tim Manning, Te Uri o Hau iwi Kim Wallace and Shereen Worthington, (front) NTA capital works team leader Jon Wyeth, Mangawhai-Kaiwaka councillors Jonathan Larsen and Peter Wethey, and KDC Maori advisor Missy Hokai. PHOTO/JULIA WADE

 

 

 

 

 

 
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