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Russell to Ōpua shared pathway wins with funders

Continued work to improve a 7.5km shared pathway that will enable cyclists, walkers and runners to travel between Russell and Ōpua, and then onto Hōreke was granted $71,500 by the Bay of Island-Whangaroa Community Board at a recent meeting.

Volunteers from the Bay of Islands Walkways Trust have completed sections of the pathway from Russell to the car ferry at Ōkiato and the most recent grant will enable the trust to continue more of the pathway, including a number of sections that are more difficult to construct.

Five kilometres of the new pathway consists of a 2.5m-wide shared track, while the remaining 2.5km runs along the roadside. The new section from Russell to the Ōpua Ferry Terminal at Ōkiato allows track users to link with the Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail and continue onto Hōreke in the Hokianga. For the most enthusiastic track users, this will enable them to cycle from Russell to Hōreke – a distance of about 70km.

The Bay of Islands Walkways Trust has been working closely with the council, Northland Transportation Alliance staff, and Pou Herenga Tai Twin Coast Cycle Trail Trust.

The total cost of the project is $182,000. Costs outlined so far include $60,000 for track building, $30,000 for volunteer costs, as well as other costs arising from signage, planting, traffic management and track promotion. The project will be maintained by the community with no operational cost to the council. The community board’s funding for the project came from its Placemaking Fund.

Some of the pathway sections to be tackled include around Te Wahapu Road and the driveway of the Omata Estate Vineyard and Kitchen.

Photos below - working bees and pathway construction provided by volunteers of the Bay of Islands Walkways Trust.