Those looking to bike, walk or scooter between Takanini and Papakura in southern Auckland can now take in picturesque views of the Manukau Harbour as they travel along a new shared path.
The Southern Path which connects communities along the Southern Motorway was officially opened recently.
“This path provides a missing link across the harbour and connects in with a city-wide cycling and walking network being developed, which encourages communities to use more active modes when travelling shorter distances,” says Waka Kotahi national manager infrastructure delivery, Andy Thackwray.
Up until now walking and cycling in the area has been limited, with few facilities and safety challenges including a lack of safe motorway crossing points.
The new path provides more reliable and safe transport options and is expected to be a popular recreational choice for locals.
The Southern Path is effectively the last piece of the puzzle in the wider Southern Corridor Improvements (SCI) project to be completed.
It follows the addition of extra motorway lanes to improve traffic flow opened in December 2019, as well as improved safety barriers and lighting, new noise walls and safety and capacity upgrades to the Takanini interchange.
“Developing a city-wide cycling and walking connection will help to reduce traffic congestion for those who do drive, while lowering transport carbon emissions, which make up more than 40% of Auckland’s emissions profile,” says Auckland’s mayor Phil Goff.
The scenic route will take people along a 4.5km long route running beside the SH1 corridor between Takanini and Papakura interchanges via two separate bridges crossing the harbour at Pahurehure Inlet.
The Southern Path will be extended a further 4km between the Papakura and Drury interchanges as part of the NZ Upgrade Programme’s Papakura to Drury South project, which began construction in April 2021.