The time where car is King is coming to an end, and we’re starting to see massive infrastructure projects aimed at shifting people from single-occupancy motor-vehicles to other modes of transport. One of the largest new infrastructure projects we will soon start seeing is the Northern Pathway; an extension of what was previously known as Sky Path. Effectively it’s a shared path between Westhaven in the city all the way up to Albany. This $360million project, which will be funded by the Government’s infrastructure package, will be a phenomenal addition to Auckland’s active transport mode network as well as a fantastic tourist attraction.
The project is split into 3 sections for delivery: Section One: Westhaven to Esmonde Road / Akoranga. Harbour Bridge component and Land component. Section Two: Akoranga to Constellation Drive (the 8km missing link) - a business case has commenced. Section Three: Constellation Drive to Albany.
The great thing about this shared path is that we can really start accessing all parts of the city in a safer, more active, environmentally responsible manner. With the massive uptake in electric bikes and micro-mobility, fitness doesn’t have to feature in order to access this infrastructure. It's an exciting project that will support behaviour change towards more active modes of transport that we're already seeing in Auckland.
With additional cycleways being proposed along Lake Road as part of the Lake Road upgrade, the future Francis-to Esmonde Street cycle way, and the Patuone path, in the coming years, the way we move around the city will really start to change - and the truth is, it needs to change. With the increase in population that we're seeing, it's simply not feasible for every household to be car-dependent. By getting more people out of cars, the roads will be used for those who still have no alternatives.
All going to plan construction should start early 2021 but completion will likely be in 2024.