Christchurch's cycleways construction to take longer than planned
Christchurch's cyclists will have to wait until 2022 for the city's new cycleway network to be completed, under a new proposal released by the city council.
Christchurch City Council previously indicated it would have its $162 million network of 13 cycleways completed by 2020 but the council's draft annual plan, released on Tuesday, has proposed pushing that date out to the 2021/22 financial year.
The draft annual plan said the timeframe extension "reflected a more realistic delivery programme".
The Government was contributing about $42m toward the project, which was aimed at making cycling in Christchurch safer and more appealing.
The completion date for the cycleways has been a contentious issue. In 2014 the council proposed extending the completion date from five years to eight, but following consultation reduced it to five years again.
The council was already progressing with construction, design and consultation on a number of cycleways.
Cycling advocacy group Spokes chairman Don Babe said he thought bringing the cycleways back from eight years to five was optimistic.
"I'd rather have a good job done in seven years than an average job in five years."
The project was one of many the council was proposing to delay following a review of its capital expenditure programme, which had helped to cap the rates increase at 5 per cent for the 2016/17 financial year.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel said the council was being more realistic about the projects it was able to complete. Many of the delayed projects still had to undergo community consultation, land acquisition and planning.
She said if it was possible to move them forward at a later date, then the council would certainly do so.
Christchurch residents would also have to wait longer for the 6.5 kilometre Coastal Pathway, linking Ferrymead and Scarborough Beach, to be completed.
The council had expected to open the final stage in mid-2018, but it has now proposed to only start construction in mid-2018.
The draft annual plan said the project looked unlikely to meet original timeframes because detailed design and resource consent was still needed for major sections.
The council was contributing $9.9m to the $25m project.
About half the pathway, a section between Ferrymead and Redcliffs, has been completed and the Beachville Road section was under construction.
Christchurch Coastal Pathway Group chairman Tim Lindley said the group was disappointed the project could not be completed by 2018 because it was a fabulous project.
The group was working closely with the council and would keep pushing for it to happen as quickly as possible.
The draft plan said the council was looking at other ways to get the work done more quickly, including possible partnerships and alignment with other work.
The South West Leisure Centre was scheduled to open in mid-2018 and the new Hornby Library and Service Centre was planned to open mid-2017. Construction of these projects were now likely to happen in the second half of 2017 after public consultation was completed this year. The whole facility was due to open in 2019.
The Linwood/Woolston pool, due to open in mid-2018, was now expected to be completed in 2020.
The council said it still needed to find a site, consult with the public and look into possible partners for the project.
The opening of the Shirley Community Centre has been delayed by three years to early 2019.