New piece on Hamilton River Trail celebrates the natural environment


A section of the new footbridge goes down to the end of Malcolm Street in Riverlea.


A section of the new footbridge goes down to the end of Malcolm Street in Riverlea.

Bats, trees and carbon emissions have all been at the center of Hamilton’s new shared path.

The final section of the Te Awa promenade and cycle path between Cambridge and Hamilton is progressing despite the challenges of Covid-19.

The 2 km Hamilton section runs along the banks of the Waikato River from Mangaonua Creek to Hammond Park in Riverlea.

The project involved the construction of 1.15 km of new trail, connecting the existing boardwalk through Hammond Park, as well as the completion of safety improvements and trail upgrades along Howell Ave and Geoffrey Place.

* Te Awa River Ride will link Hamilton to Cambridge by the end of 2021
* The Hamilton section of the Te Awa bike path in progress

Hamilton City Council’s director of investment projects Chris Barton said in a statement the environment has always been a key priority, with climate change and carbon emissions guiding and influencing the design and construction phases. of the project, including the path traveled and the materials used. to build it.

The objective was to minimize the impact on the ravine by keeping as many existing trees as possible.

“All of the important trees in the area were identified and classified by an environmentalist during the design phase and the path was diverted around them to minimize the extent of tree cutting,” Barton said.

It also uses low carbon engineered solutions such as timber walkways, timber post walls and ground nailing solutions.

In addition to retaining the existing trees, the council is funding 1,700 new plants under the project, while the Waikato Regional Council will plant an additional 3,800 plants in the Mangaonua Gully.

City Council partnered with Waikato District Council to construct a 32m long bridge over Mangaonua Creek, connecting the Hamilton Section to the Waikato Section of the Shared Road.

“The bridge was developed as a low carbon solution that uses glued laminated timber (glulam) for its structural elements. When completed, it will be New Zealand’s largest glulam truss bridge. “

There are also precautions to ensure that the current tenants of the ravine, the native bat pekapeka-tou-roa, are protected.

The winner of the New Zealand Bird of the Year competition was followed by staff from projects such as the Southern Links Network in Peacocke and the Shared Path Project in the Riverlea region.

“For this reason, we will also be installing artificial nesting boxes for bats, pest control and weed control as part of the project,” Barton said.

The council is working on a Te Awa Shared Path opening event for next year.

Once the 60 km project is completed, up to 225 people are expected to cycle, scooter and walk along its length each day.


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