The long-awaited pedestrian SkyPath linking central Auckland with the North Shore is inching closer with today's announcement that the Government will fully fund the project to the tune of $67 million.
The NZ Transport Agency Board confirmed the investment to progress SkyPath as part of a larger $390 million walking and cycling investment package. Acting Associate Transport Minister James Shaw said "The $390 million package will be the single largest investment ever in walking and cycling infrastructure for New Zealand and represents a $96 million increase on the previous three years."
SkyPath has been in the works for over a decade, but now the NZ Transport Agency will complete a detailed business case by mid-2019 to determine the design and timeline for construction.
It has previously been reported that the SkyPath will clip on to the eastern lane of the Auckland Harbour Bridge — running from the Westhaven promenade to Northcote Point and connecting with the three-kilometre SeaPath cycle and walkway. Both projects are expected to be completed by 2021.
SkyPath is being championed by the Auckland Harbour Bridge Pathway Trust, a charitable trust whose aim is to have a world class walking and cycling facility across Auckland Harbour. It has been estimated that between 10,000 to 12,000 people will use the crossing during peak hours.
This will be the second makeover for the iconic steel gangplank in recent times; celebrating Auckland Anniversary Weekend this year the switch was flicked on for a new state-of-the-art and sustainable lighting system, boasting nearly 90,000 LEDs and 200 floodlights.