Te Ara Tupua is the highly anticipated harbour-side walking and cycling link between Wellington and Lower Hutt. The name Te Ara Tupua, gifted by the Taranaki Whānui, reflects the creation story of Te Whanganui a Tara—the story of Ngāke and Whātaitai, the tupua that created the harbour and its landforms.
The 4.5km long Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One section of the shared path will be built on the harbour’s edge from Ngā Ūranga Interchange to Honiana Te Puni Reserve in Pito-One, connecting to the Pito-One to Melling section that’s currently under construction.
The shared path features a new bridge over the railway and six ūranga (landings) at key sites along its length which provide areas for coastal planting, habitat creation, and gathering, recreation and viewing areas.
Director of Regional Relationships at Waka Kotahi, Emma Speight says. “Te Ara Tupua will be a stunning addition to the Wellington Harbour coastline and create a step change in the number of people choosing to walk or bike between Wellington and the Hutt. It will make State Highway 2 and the Hutt rail line more resilient and provide the ability to adapt to sea level rise.”
By providing a safe, attractive 5m wide path, separated from motorised traffic, the Ngā Ūranga ki Pito-One shared path will make it possible for more people to try new and active ways of getting between Lower Hutt and Wellington.
As well as providing a safe way to walk and cycle, the design for this crucial infrastructure corridor features new seawalls and rock embankments (revetments) to help protect the transport corridor from the damaging effects of storms, as well as providing habitat for fauna and flora.
The design protects and enhances sensitive land and sea ecologies, adding new offshore habitat for seabirds to offering undisturbed roosting places.
Designed in partnership with Taranaki Whānui, this will be the first Waka Kotahi project considered under the new fast-track consent process, with applications to be lodged this month. Construction is expected to begin in mid-2021 and take approximately three years to complete.