Flashback Friday: New northern cycleway to Waimakariri coming

So, if we’re to believe the intentions of the new Government, get ready for a lot more roads, roads, roads in the coming years. That also seems to be reflected in the recently consulted on Regional Land Transport Plan, which is looking to prioritise things like the SH1 Northern Link Woodend Bypass, Brougham St corridor, and more four-laning and overbridges through Rolleston. I guess from a cycling perspective it would be nice if there were some associated cycleway improvements as part of these projects – is that too much to hope for? After all, it wasn’t too long ago that, as part of the Northern Motorway development out of Christchurch, we also finally got a decent cycle crossing of the Waimakariri River – as first reported back in Aug 2018

An exciting new development for cycling is about to start construction along the Christchurch Northern Motorway corridor. From the end of August, work will begin to construct additional lanes on the Waimakariri River motorway bridge. As well as two extra traffic lanes, designed to accommodate high-occupancy vehicles (including buses), a clip-on cycleway will also make it much easier to cycle between Christchurch and districts to the north.

The new bridge lanes over the Waimakariri (cycleway in green)

A snazzy video shows all the details of the bridge works and the rest of the northern corridor project. At present, your options for biking to/from the north are to chance your arm on the narrow Old Main North Rd bridge, or to put your bike on a bus crossing the Waimak. The new clip-on, outside the southbound lanes, will provide a protected facility from traffic.

A rendition of how the cycleway clip-on will look attached to the bridge

The other nice development is the work to continue the cycleway along the northern motorway corridor. Initially, when the northern motorway route was proposed, NZTA had the parallel cycleway stopping at Belfast Rd, with no clear indication of what happened north of that. Fast forward a few years and now cycling is being taken a lot more seriously (and funded accordingly too).

The new cycleway will connect right into town

It’s great to see another piece of the cycling puzzle coming to fruition. For commuters from Waimakariri District and cycle tourists to the north (likely to increase with the development of a cycle trail to Marlborough), this will greatly help safe cycling to Christchurch. The bridge works should be completed by the end of 2019.

Have you used the new northern cycleway?

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