Wairoa cycle bridge shortfall

The Wairoa Cycleway Bridge is now expected to cost $7.1 million instead of $6.5 million. Photo: Supplied.

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.


Bring it on

Posted on 19-05-2017 00:45 | By Oldboy

As is always the case with transport infrastructure investment away from the roads, the car drivers think it's a bad idea and cyclists, on the whole, welcome it. There are certainly a lot of couch CFOs about, some who think we should have a referendum on every cent the elected council spend on our behalf. I for one think enhancing the area, attracting more tourists and just making it a nicer place, is worth it. These sorts of things that can payback hugely in a number of ways, but not if you fudge it.

Try looking forward for a change.

Posted on 18-05-2017 16:32 | By R. Bell

Claiming cycle tourists spend nothing, is absolute nonsense. To attract them here we need iconic attractions, the bridge is a start. A nice floodlit Maori Pa would add to it, man I can just see it all lit up for the Christmas season. People will come from miles around, all with pockets full of dosh. Robin Bell.

Rounding out ???

Posted on 17-05-2017 19:48 | By waiknot

Well $0 is closer to $400,000 than $1million so yep let's round it down. Personally I don't have an opinion on this, just the manipulative language gets me.


Posted on 16-05-2017 20:22 | By maildrop

Agree with RBell. Great project that will repay far in excess of many one off events funded by ratepayers.

poof and its gone... throwing money in the wind

Posted on 16-05-2017 19:38 | By CC8

Tolls are a waste of time, there won't be enough users. Look at the LACK of use on the current "cycle" lanes around the city....... Sure people use the cycle trails around the country, those that I know take the motor home avoid the motels, avoid the shops and avoid the other tourist traps.They buy all their cycling stuff online , and they escape to the next cycle trail with a notch in their collective belts to brag about. THEY DO NOT become repeat business because they have the "been there done that " mentality. Get it right council ..THIS IS WILL NOT ENHANCE TAURANGA... Cities are not a cyclist tourist's ultimate destination.... until after dark when retailers other than bars are closed .


Posted on 16-05-2017 17:54 | By astex

Why upgrade the cost. Simply downgrade the type of bridge to suit the budget.

cycle way

Posted on 16-05-2017 17:00 | By dumbkof2

dont worry about the cost just add it onto next years rates. we the tauranga dummies will pay for it.

Cycle monument.

Posted on 16-05-2017 16:33 | By Bazza 78

The whole project is heading for collapse. Taking too long, building costs too extravagant.Using helicopter to move material and paying money to flash architectural firms to design over priced bridges. Keep it basic you numb nuts.

Clip on..

Posted on 16-05-2017 16:07 | By Me again

to existing bridge tooo easy and far to cheap for our council.How about getting our roads fixed here and there,,Oh sorry that not their problem. You guys are real good at patchwork roading in Tauranga.

Fancy Bridge

Posted on 16-05-2017 16:07 | By Steve

A basic swing bridge would do the trick. If it is to be fancy, then paint it. The balance of funds could be put into safe sealed paving to enabling young and old to enjoy.


Posted on 16-05-2017 15:30 | By thebrads6

The comment says "This range of funders demonstrates the strong community support for the project" I can only see a community of unhappy rate payers & traffic jam haters. Oh! and a bunch of morons spending millions of other peoples money. Get the thousands of commuters to work & back home in a reasonable time frame, then sort out a few tourists & cyclists


Posted on 16-05-2017 14:23 | By holly

Really ,come on , put the money toward 2 extra lanes on the Wairoa river bridge and include the cycle lane on the edge , time to spend wisely council !!!


Posted on 16-05-2017 13:48 | By old trucker

JUST PUT A CLIP ON Beside the bridge if the bikes want too use it charge them $10 each to use it,of cause it will BLOW OUT Budget all the (CONS) ULTANTS will get a big fat pay, just another big BAUBLES to make them feel good that money could go to the bypass you know where,Major Brownless needs to STAND UP and say NO, but he cannot BECAUSE he is Being TOLD what too do by others (OLD School),as for Simple Simon get him to fund it out of his BLOATED fat pay, all the PROMISES to CURB spending the so called Mayor has let us down,my thoughts only,No1 Sunlive Thankyou ,10-4.

Great project,

Posted on 16-05-2017 13:34 | By R. Bell

Cycle tourism is booming worldwide, the come, and they bring heaps of $$$s with them. Just check the stat's before mouthing off. Robin Bell.

The Bridge

Posted on 16-05-2017 12:44 | By margie

I love it. Our city needs an iconic attraction. God knows we,ve ripped down most of our historic buildings and we have no icons to make us any different from any other place in NZ. Solution is easy. Toll the bridge for us bikies. Seems to be the logical answer to me.

How about a SIMPLE

Posted on 16-05-2017 12:37 | By The Caveman

Clip-on on the side of the existing road bridge ????


Posted on 16-05-2017 12:06 | By Tassie

Tauranga Council is broke and has their own problems with living a champagne life style on a beer budget. Get a grip is you can't afford it, you can't do it.............too true toll it then see how many cyclist are willing to use it.

Why not

Posted on 16-05-2017 11:45 | By Bop man

Just tag it onto the road bridge or the rail bridge, need for this massive waste of Money. If attached to the rail bridge then the trail could follow the rail line through to town.

Highlights the total LACK of intergrity by bureaucrats and interest groups, the con ...

Posted on 16-05-2017 10:42 | By Murray.Guy

Over eleven short months this project has had WBOPDC senior staff providing estimates for this proposed structure from as little as $1.5 million. 500 meters to the north is a road bridge, perfectly capable of providing the outcomes desired in an aesthetically pleasing, functional design. Clip on structures on both sides of the Wairoa River bridge will spread the low weight impact and enhance it's appearance. Bye the bye, I curious why TECT TRUST mostly always insist on 'naming rights' when it makes funds available? The Trust does NOT need 'branding exposure' as it is NOT customer dependant so can only assume it is Board ego at play? This TECT ego trip denies the 'private sector the 'branding opportunity' and additional income for projects and their annual operating costs. TECT Arena, TECT All-Terrain Park etc.


Posted on 16-05-2017 10:16 | By Mein Fuhrer

when we have chaotic traffic congestion worsening everyday, these council morons want to place this eyesore bridge to accomodate a minority group and to make it "attractive to tourism". the utter lack of common sense from this bunch of PC twits is unbelievable.


Posted on 16-05-2017 10:03 | By Abobsworth

Surely a clip on to the Wairoa bridge would be cheaper.I would like to know of the projected usage figures for this amount of money?


Posted on 16-05-2017 09:28 | By overit

I am a cyclist and would use the bridge, but hey I don't NEED this monstrocity. Rein it in people.


Posted on 16-05-2017 08:51 | By nerak

Here's some more $$ though: Simon Bridges (loves the idea), $75 k,Tga Business Roundtable, another 100 k, On route developer contributions, another $100 k. There you go, just found another $275 k! The pretty bridge is a want, not a need, and the ratepayers do not need to fork out for it.

Looks impressive

Posted on 16-05-2017 08:21 | By JEM

Looks impressive but us cyclist just want to get across the river safely. Could be scaled somewhat


Posted on 16-05-2017 08:09 | By Shocking!

Yet again... such a waste of money going down the drain on something only a handful of people will ever use! Did we get asked if we wanted our money wasted on this? I don't recall being asked.Why does Council not stop and blinkin THINK.... instead of wasting millions!


Posted on 16-05-2017 07:38 | By fletch

Put a toll on it

The Bridge

Posted on 16-05-2017 07:12 | By surfsup

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. Round out from the original contribution of $400.000, that's not rounding out but doubling and then some $$$$.If the cycle community really want this then set up a give a little page and put your hands in your pockets. This council including Major Brownless has been a major disappointment, spending ratepayers money on frivolous projects with no end in site, a far cry from the promises made before the election.

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