20 Dec 2019

Deal fast-tracks Auckland Harbour Bridge walkway and cycleway plan

1:39 pm on 20 December 2019

The Transport Agency has reached an agreement to fast-track plans for a walking and cycling track across the Auckland harbour bridge, it says.

The Auckland Harbour Bridge

NZTA has reached an agreement to buy SkyPath Trust's intellectual property for $1.8 million. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Earlier this year, the government stepped in to resolve a dispute between the agency and organistion developing the plan - the SkyPath Trust.

The Agency has reached an agreement to buy the Trust's intellectual property for $1.8 million.

Consents need to be finalised, meaning the earliest construction could start is the end of next year.

The design was commissioned by the SkyPath Trust and granted consent in 2015. Those consents are held by Auckland Council.

The NZTA project director Jennifer Hart said she was pleased to be able to build on the work already completed by the SkyPath Trust and its design team, which laid the foundation for the planning.

"We know Aucklanders want to be able to cross the harbour on foot and by bike as soon as possible and we believe the best way to do this is to vary the resource consents currently owned by Auckland Council. We can alter the consents more easily if we own the intellectual property for the SkyPath design."

"The Trust and their consultants did a huge amount of work and paved the way for this incredible path to be built for the benefit of all Aucklanders and visitors to the city."

The Trust will use the funds to reimburse its consultants and advisors - who have worked on the project on a deferred fees basis over the last 10 years.

SkyPath Trust chairperson Christine Rose said they were excited.

"The Trust is also delighted to see our consultants and advisors reimbursed. There was no certainty they would get paid hence they have made a remarkable commitment over the last 10 years."

As part of the agreement, SkyPath Trust will change its name to MOVEMENT.

Geotechnical investigations have started in the project area and, early next year the Transport Agency will be talking to the community about the urban design for the link between Westhaven and Takapuna.