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New Tauroa Reserve boardwalk to improve safety

boardwalk

An artist’s impression of the new boardwalk at Tauroa Reserve that will provide a safe off-road option for walkers and cyclists.

Hastings District Council is proposing to build a boardwalk adjacent to Tauroa Reserve to improve safety for people cycling and walking in the area, and accessing Te Mata Park.

The road and corner on this stretch of Tauroa Valley Rd has been a safety risk for motorists, walkers and cyclists, and the shared walking and cycling link would provide a practical off-road alternative route.

At three metres wide to accommodate pedestrians and bikers, the boardwalk (comprising sections of concrete and sections of timber) would include handrails and be located between the Chambers carpark on Tauroa Rd at the base of Te Mata Park and Tokomaru Drive.

A report on the Tauroa Walkway proposal is being presented to Hastings councillors at their full council meeting on Thursday, February 11.

This report seeks approval for the removal of up to 30 mature, exotic trees to make room for construction, as well as make the area safer for users in the future.

These trees, which are mainly pines, will be replaced with about 300 appropriate native revegetation species, in line with the ongoing environmental enhancement work in Tauroa Reserve carried out by the Tauroa Care Group.

Tauroa Care Group member Michelle Hicks said the group was aware of the plans to remove the trees, and had had input into how that work was carried out, and looked forward to working together with the Council on the project.

As well as making room for the boardwalk, the removal will safeguard against future risks the trees could cause to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as the structure, when they start to fail with age.

Council transportation manager Jag Pannu said the boardwalk would provide a much safer off-road walking and cycling option.

The first stage of the project was estimated to cost about $1.3 million.

Te Mata Park Trust spokesperson Emma Buttle said the trust was in support of the new boardwalk that would encourage people to walk or ride to Te Mata Park safely.

“It will substantially enhance safety on an increasingly busy stretch of road, and also improve access for all to reach our iconic park without the use of motorised transport.”

If approved, the tree removal work would begin on Monday, February 15, and run for one to two weeks, depending on weather conditions, after which the first stage of the boardwalk construction would start with the building of concrete footpaths.

This would be followed by building the off-road boardwalk, with the project expected to be completed at the end of May.

Traffic management will be in place on Tauroa Road (from Tokomaru Drive to Tauroa Valley Road), and the road may be down to one lane at times during the project.

There will be short term stoppages of traffic along this section of Tauroa Road for approximately five minutes at a time while trees are being removed.

The Tauroa Reserve will also need to be temporarily closed at various stages during the works.

18 June 2021

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