Economic network

Launch of a $ 32 million trail network plan

The Five Towns Trail Network master plan launched at the Carterton Events Center on October 14. PHOTO / SUPPLIED

Emilie Ireland
[email protected]

An ambitious trail system plan connecting the five towns of Wairarapa is expected to cost nearly $ 32 million and create 176 jobs.

The five-city trail network master plan launched tonight at the Carterton Events Center [Thursday] and details plans to develop nearly 200 km of recreational walking and cycling trails connecting Martinborough, Featherston, Greytown, Carterton and Masterton.

Most of the work would be financed by external funds.

Just over 100 km of the trail would be on private land and would require the support of landowners.

A total of 19 bridges are expected to be built, including the Tauherenikau Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge, ready for shoveling. [150m long] which received $ 1.3 million in government funding.

The suspension bridges to be constructed also include one over the Waiōhine River from South Wairarapa and one over the Waingawa River from Cornwall Rd, Carterton, to near South Rd in Masterton.

The Waingawa Suspension Bridge is said to measure 220m and could potentially be the longest suspension bridge in the southern hemisphere.

The development of the network would also create jobs and generate millions of dollars per year from visitors coming to Wairarapa to access the trails.

Once construction began, in the first year, 97 jobs would be created, reaching 176 in the 10th year of the plan.

Regional revenue from the trail is expected to exceed $ 13.5 million in year 10 of the plan.

The Wairarapa Five Towns Trail Network aligns with the Wellington Regional Trails Framework and the Wairarapa Economic Development Strategy, and was developed from a concept designed by the Five Towns Trails Trust to connect the towns of Wairarapa.

The project is now led by Wairarapa Trails Action Group [WTAG].

WTAG members include South Wairarapa, Carterton and Masterton District Councils, Greater Wellington Regional Council, Department of Conservation, Destination Wairarapa and a number of Wairarapa-based trail trusts.

WTAG President and Carton Mayor Greg Lang said developing the master plan was an important first step in making the network a reality.

“The routes in the master plan are indicative and not precise plans for the network of trails.

“The master plan opens up conversations with landowners and communities and provides a level of detail that will facilitate requests for external funding that will fund most of this work over the next 10 years or more.

“The out-of-the-box funding for the Tauherenikau Pedestrian and Bicycle Bridge is an example of how trails can be funded without imposing a burden on taxpayers.

Lang said the Five Towns Trails Network aims to make the most of Wairarapa’s untapped potential as a destination.

“The goal is a series of trails that increase outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and visitors, to make more people more active more often, on safe and accessible trails.

“From its beautiful rivers, lakes and coastlines to world-class parks, Wairarapa offers untapped potential for a unique visitor experience.”

Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson said the Five Towns Trail project complements work already planned by the councils.

“The Masterton District Council last year approved the construction of a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Waipoua River to allow easy access to the Oxford St reserve from the trail on the south side of the river, and construction is now expected to start in the new year.

“We are proud of our network of recreational trails and this project will expand the offer to residents and visitors.

South Wairarapa Mayor Alex Beijen said the construction of the new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Tauherenikau River shows what is possible.

“This is a major project that will probably take 10 years or more, but the bridge project is a good start. By accessing external funding, using the master plan, it can be a win-win for taxpayers and residents.

The master plan is available on the Five Towns Trail website www.fivetownstrail.co.nz.

All prices quoted in the master plan are for budgetary purposes, have not been based on technical evaluations and are based on current market knowledge.

FACTS BOX:
The five-city trail network would include iconic trails as well as experience loops and trails.

The Signature Trail section is made up of five trails: Featherston to Greytown [15.5km and $2.5m]; Greytown in Carterton [7.5km and $2.3m]; Carterton to Masterton [11.5km and $2.7m]; Greytown in Martinborough [19km and $2.2m]; From Featherston to Martinborough [36km and $5.9m].

The experience loops consist of: Masterton Ōpaki Loop [26.2km and $3.8m]; Masterton Rivers Loop [11.5km and $1.7m]; Carterton to Gladstone Experience Loop [26km and $3.4m]; Martinborough Vineyard Loop [10.4km and $1.4m]; Waingawa at the cliffs [5.4km and $1.8m]; Gladstone at Morrisons Bush [24km and $4m].

-NZLDR


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