The local board wants to extend shared footpaths to improve the safety of school children. Photo Rose Davis

Work to extend dual footpath-cycle lanes either side of Ostend faces a delay after Waiheke Local Board told Auckland Transport to think again over its six-figure costings.

Auckland Transport had given rough estimates of $530,000 to provide a 2.5 metre-wide shared path on the Causeway between Waiheke Boating Club and Shelly Beach Road and $335,000 for a shared path on Ostend Road between Tahi Road and Calais Street. AT sought the board’s commitment before proceeding to firm-up the ballpark costings which run to nearly $900 per metre of footpath.

Instead, the board at its May meeting dismissed the costings as unreasonable. It has asked AT to do more work on “cost effective outcomes”.

After the meeting, board chairman Paul Walden said the board was looking for a low cost solution and AT’s estimates were “ridiculous”.

The shared footpaths could have been created during the resealing season simply by widening the asphalt coverage on the road and either painting a line on it or creating a simple low barrier, he said.

“We think they should be able to do both projects for closer to $50,000.”
The projects were part of a roll-out of shared footpaths intended to improve road safety for school children. At the moment, children riding or walking from Ostend to Donald Bruce Road had to cross the main road to get to the cycle lane then cross back again to get to school.

Mr Walden said the costings were a good example of why more council-related funding decisions should be made locally.

“If we were a small council this would have been done as a matter of course when resealing the road. As it is, more money will probably be spent paying engineers to [give estimates] than it costs to do the job.” • Geoff Cumming

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