Coastal pathway wins mayoral backing
Council announces $50,000 for a master planCHARLIE GATES
A coastal walkway from Mt Pleasant to Sumner would regenerate the earthquake-hit suburbs, the community group behind the project says.
The proposal for a 6.5-kilometre walkway along the Estuary and seafront has been backed by the Christchurch City Council.
Mayor Bob Parker announced $50,000 in funding for a master plan and feasibility study for the pathway.
Christchurch Coastal Pathway executive committee member Melanda Slemint said similar pathways in Wellington and New Plymouth had helped regenerate cities.
''It has the potential to be enormous,'' she said.
''These sorts of pathways have had huge impact in Wellington and New Plymouth. Those waterfronts were really neglected and the regeneration that has come about by making those spaces accessible and beautiful public spaces is huge.''
A 6km coastal pathway in New Plymouth is used by about 40,000 people a month.
Slemint said the first part of the walkway could be completed next month.
''The plan at the moment is that it will be part of the Ferrymead Bridge upgrade,'' she said.
''The latest we have heard is that they are incorporating the pathway into the new bridge. That will get under way quite soon; that means the first 700 metres of the pathway could be complete by September.''
Parker said the pathway would be an asset for everyone.
"The pathway will cater for children, pedestrians, cyclists, skateboarders and people using scooters and wheelchairs and is planned to connect Ferrymead to Mt Pleasant and on through Redcliffs, finishing at the end of Scarborough Beach in Sumner", he said.
The master plan will investigate how construction of the walkway could be integrated into repair work on damaged infrastructure.
Ngai Tahu, the Avon-Heathcote Estuary Ihutai Trust, the Christchurch Estuary Association, the local yacht clubs and residents will be consulted as part of the master plan.
The Christchurch Coastal Pathway group has won praise from Port Hills Labour MP Ruth Dyson.
"It is the brainchild of a small and passionate group of local residents who have devoted hours of their time and energy to get this project off the ground," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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