Bridges take cycle trail a step closer to completion

The Kurow to Duntroon section of the Alps 2 Ocean trail will be a step closer to completion with the construction of four new bridges over the next few months.

Friends of Alps 2 Ocean spokesperson Adair Craik says some of the 301 kilometre trail from Mount Cook to Oamaru requires additional funding for new bridges and rerouting the trail off the main roads to make it safer for cyclists.

“The initial government grant for the trail was $2.75m. However it became obvious that was not going to be enough to complete the trail to the standards required, “ says Adair. “More opportunities have also risen to where the trail can go and how it could be improved meaning the final cost of the trail is likely to reach $10m.”

Meridian’s Waitaki Community Fund will contribute $18,500 towards the construction of three of the bridges on the Kurow to Duntroon section of the trail.

“We really appreciate this funding, which will go some way to completing the Kurow to Duntroon section,” says Adair. “The trail has really put small Waitaki towns on the map, reviving some of them that were literally dying. There are now thousands of people cycling the trail paying for accommodation and food, hiring equipment and trying out the local tourist attractions. Some people are even buying property along the trail.

The trail will be completely off-road between Kurow and Duntroon, part of our focus to take cyclists off SH83. Most of the trail follows the old haul road alongside the Waitaki River, with sections of new trail through farmland and beside SH83.

Meridian’s Community Engagement Manager Shelley O’Dwyer says the company is thrilled to be able to support the Alps to Ocean cycle trail. “It’s a fabulous ride through spectacular landscapes and unique communities. The trail is already contributing significant value to the communities of the Mackenzie district and Waitaki valley and these benefits will continue to develop.”

Other projects to receive grants from the fund include:

  • Glenavy Community Hall Trust – $10,000 towards the refurbishment of the hall kitchen
  • Coastguard Mackenzie Lakes and Environment Canterbury - $10,000 towards the creation of a boat ramp at Lake Ruataniwha
  • Kurow Medical Centre - $26,000 to assist with the purchase of a PRIME vehicle
  • Awakino Charitable Trust - $5,000 towards a new truck to cart and spread gravel on the road to Awakino Skifield
  • Otematata Residents Association Inc - $5000 towards a project to level and spread gravel on the Otematata Wetland Walkway
  • Waitaki Riparian Enhancement Society Inc - $4,500 to purchase timber to construct a working deck alongside the proposed raceway at the hatchery site at Welcome Stream
  • Duntroon Districts and Development Assoc - $5000 towards Duntroon Wetland track improvement
  • Waitaki Valley Community Society - $6000 towards a Kurow town clock
  • Lower Waitaki River Management Society - $5000 to assist with the construction of a boat launching ramp at Glenavy