Funding has been confirmed by the New Zealand Transport Agency for a shared pathway, running along the Peka Peka to Otaki Expressway to be built. The pathway will connect to the MacKays to Peka Peka section on the Kapiti expressway, creating a 30km long path altogether, which will run from Paekakariki through to Otaki.
The plan is for a tunnel to be built north of Marycest so that the path can cross the expressway. It will then cross over a bridge over railway lines. A new local road bridge will be built in Te Horo for cyclists and pedestrians to use. There will be a partial interchange to access Otaki Gorge Road further North. The new Otaki river bridge will be designed to accommodate a separate shared path on its eastern side, and, there will be a tunnel north of Otaki river to get back under the expressway, leading into Otaki or to the river.
The path is designed for the use of walkers and cyclists, however, certain areas of the track will provide a slightly wider path for the use of equestrians. The path will provide a safer trip for those travelling by these means.
“Not everyone can or wants to share State Highway 1 with vehicles and securing a safe shared pathway for the benefit of bikers, walkers, and equestrians has been a significant goal for local cycle advocates for many years. The new pathway will attract families with children as well as less confident cyclists and overseas visitors to the Kāpiti Coast, while also providing an economic boost to the Te Horo and Ōtaki areas.” – Kāpiti Cycling Action Group spokesperson Lynn Sleath on the decision.
A proposed price for the project has not yet been announced.
A group of Kapiti locals created a petition last year, saying that they wanted the pathway to extend from Peka Peka. Otaki Ward councillor has acknowledged this in a statement, saying that the decision made for the path to be created proves that the agency has listened to the community.