Work still cycling
on despite delays
Work on the Mangapurua and Old Coach Road sections of the Mountains to Sea
Cycleway has been delayed but the two projects are still due for completion this year,
Department of Conservation staff say.
During summer, up to 20 people were at work in the remote Mangapurua Valley
near Raetihi, making the walking track there suitable for cycles. The team was now
down to six people, with two weeks’ work still to be done, Whanganui area visitor
assets manager George Taylor said.
Work on altering the bridges in the valley is due to finish this month.
In winter, signs and track furniture are to be installed, toilets upgraded and systems
put in place to make sure riders dismount to get around the dangerous bluffs. The
33km section of track from the Ruatiti Road to the Whanganui River and Bridge to
Nowhere is due to open as a cycleway in September, Mr Taylor said.
At the moment the track is usable for walkers, cyclists and quad bikers (as far
as Bartrums Swing Bridge)
but closures will have to take
place when bridges are being
altered at essential crossings.
This will more likely occur in
late April/early May, advises
The recent work means
the track is still in a ‘raw’
state and it will take a few
months to settle down. This
means muddy sections may
After that the track
that joins it from the
Kaiwhakauka Valley would
be made suitable for biking
and become another entrance
to the cycleway, and campsite
shelters would be built in the
two valleys. The total cost of
all the work is $700,000.
Coach Road delay
Meanwhile, wet weather has delayed completion of the 11km Ohakune Old Coach
Road section of the cycleway, Ruapehu visitor and historic assets manager Neil Wood
“There’s still bridge construction to be done, and there’s still approximately 2km of
track that needs to be capped as well.”
He’s had as many as 18 workers on the job during the summer and that number is
about to drop to nine. The track is to be opened on 2 July by Tourism Minister John
The total cost of reinstating the original Old Coach Road and building new linking
sections is $617,000.
While constructing the road, workers discovered two old dwelling sites. Five former
early-1900s house sites and the remains of a temporary campsite are to be preserved.
The cycleway has been diverted around them.
Reprinted courtesy of the Wanganui Chronicle