Tauranga City Council is being asked to round out its contribution to the cost of the ‘iconic' arched bridge planned for the cycleway crossing at the Wairoa River to $1 million.
The call comes after a shortfall in the funding of the bridge was identified.
Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Garry Webber told councillors at last week's Annual Plan hearings that this will mean a $600,000 increase in the city's contribution, which can be made in two $300,000 payments over two financial years.
The shortfall is $2.64m, and mostly relates to the Wairoa Bridge.
The bridge is currently estimated to cost $7.1 million to build. The updated total cost of the Omokoroa/Tauranga cycle trail is $12.24m.
So far, the project has secured $9.6m funding, including the $400,000 from Tauranga City, and $1,000,000 from TECT for the naming rights of the bridge.
The TECT support came as a result of the cycle trail being the joint councils' top priority for funding.
To date, Western Bay of Plenty District Council has worked hard to secure funding from multiple sources to ensure this flagship cycle trail is built with committed total project funding from:
NZ Transport Agency Urban Cycle way Programme - $1.5m
NZ Transport Agency Highways and Operations - $1.4m
NZ Transport Agency subsidy - $2.4m
Western Bay of Plenty District Council - $1.52m
Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust - $ 1.0m
New Zealand Community Trust - $1.0m
Tauranga City Council - $400,000
Omokoroa Community Board - $160,000
Tauranga Business Round Table - $100,000
On Route Developer Contributions - $20,000
PowerCo - $100,000
“This range of funders demonstrates the strong community support for the project. Feedback has also been overwhelmingly positive and there is a desire to see it achieved sooner rather than later,” says Garry in his submission.
“However, to make it happen will require extra funding. We are currently applying for funding from Bay of Plenty Regional Council and will be applying to Lotteries once the resource consent is secured. We will also be applying for further funding from NZTA, TECT and the New Zealand Community Trust.”
The cycle trail is expected to bring both domestic and international tourism to the region by providing a world class cycle trail from the doorstep of Bethlehem through the Wairoa Active Reserve, over a nationally iconic Wairoa Bridge, and on through Te Puna to the Omokoroa Peninsula.
At its design launch late last year, Transport Minister Simon Bridges said the bridge's stunning design and unique concept would be a drawcard for the Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycle Trail - and an additional ' destination' attraction for tourists exploring the region by cycle or foot.
Local Tangato Whenua, Ngati Kahu hapu of Ngati Ranginui Iwi, whose marae and whanau are on the Wairoa River banks, have given their blessing to the bridge due to its design over-arching the waterway without any intrusion into it, says Garry.
The completed cycleway is expected to bring tourism from around the Bay of Plenty, New Zealand and the world, benefitting the communities it passes through. It is also intended to become a commuting corridor, a recreational hub, and green belt destination.
The route itself will connect Bethlehem to the upcoming Wairoa Active Reserve and the iconic Wairoa Bridge, through to Omokoroa on a scenic ride which highlights stunning coastal scenery.The Omokoroa to Tauranga Cycle Trail is also a major section in the long term vision for a Great Ride Cycle Trail between Waihi Beach and Tauranga.
The Western Bay of Plenty District Council is already working on funding the link from Waihi Beach to Waihi, which in tum links on to the existing Hauraki Rail Trail which ultimately will connect through to Auckland.