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Efforts under way to advance Wharf Road walkway project

August 18th, 2010
By David Armstrong

Committee members from Keep Motueka Beautiful (KMB) will meet Council engineers to update their understanding of the planning and consent issues which lay behind delays in building the Wharf Road walkway, hoping to get the stalled project moving again.

At KMB's committee meeting before the annual general meeting on Monday, the committee read an email from the council engineer steering the project, Steve Elkington, inviting members to meet him on site to view what planners have in mind, and the committee, with one dissenting vote, agreed that this would enable them all to get a clearer picture of the factors involved and to finish the project.

Motueka Online has described recent dialogue on the planning hiccups in this story in April and this follow-up story in July. Steve Elkington's email confirmed that the roadside wattle trees are about to be removed, so this will give everyone a clearer picture of what further work would be needed to build the walkway, as a sort-of "clip on" to the road on the northern (town) side.

He confirmed that a notified resource consent would not be needed to contruct the path as long as engineering work remained above the high tide mark, but otherwise the time-consuming consent process would be needed. Bob Cooke, who has project-managed the development for KMB, felt sure that digging would be needed below high-tide level for the engineering work to be sound and reliable. He felt the project was back to where it was a year ago.

The committee said they were anxious to get the project going again and they want to talk directly with the engineers involved.

Other news from the AGM

The office holders and committee members present were all re-elected, though chairperson Eileen Wilkins said this would be her last year in the post. (Her tricky position as go-between linking KMB and TDC was noted with gratitude.) Two new volunteers (new to the district) who wanted to get involved in community work were welcomed.

The main items of interest were contained in the Project Manager's report from Bob Cooke. Leading that was the pleasure to announce the effective completion of the major project of constructing the Inlet Walkway from Old Wharf Road and Wharf Road, and the associated 'Adopt a Plot' wetland area. The large area of gorse has been flattened, though it will need regular, expensive spraying for a few years yet.

The Adopt a Plot area in recent months has been extended even further, with up to 35 plots now opened up and pathways made - the latter thanks to 40 truckloads of free gravel being supplied recently. Twenty seven plots have now been adopted out, developed ready for planting and maintenance.

Bob also reported on the five-year plan that was to have completed by 2012/13, which is to see the complete off-road walkway circuit of the Inlet / Estuary. The final part of the loop still outstanding is from Link Park to York Park, and Bob has his "fingers crossed" that it will be completed by 2013. The success so far has been a remarkable achievement thanks to the many volunteers involved.

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