Methven residents now have safer access to amenities in the northern corner of the township.
The construction of an unsealed footpath along State Highway 77 to the Ōpuke Thermal Pools, the Methven Racecourse and the Methven Walkway has been completed.
“Overall, the job was carried out quickly and the end result is a safer way to walk to the hot pools and the Methven walkway, both of which are attracting quite a lot of visitors,” Ashburton District Council infrastructure and open spaces group manager Neil McCann said.
The project was funded from the overall unsubsidised roading budget McCann said that was made available in a budget reshuffle in June, with the unsealed path in Methven costing $43,612 plus GST.
The start of the project was delayed to ensure the alignment of the footpath was on the boundary side of the swale, but it has still been completed on schedule.
McCann said a meeting to confirm the alignment was held on November 16, and the shingle path was completed by December 16.
Methven-based Staples and Kidd were subcontracted to trim the hedge back at the start of December before Fulton Hogan laid the pathway.
To complete the project, new grass will be sown between the path and SH77.
The stretch of road will become even safer with Waka Kotahi proposing, in its Interim State Highway Speed Management Plan, to reduce the speed limit along the stretch of road from 100kph down to 80kph.
Both the Methven Community Board and the council have requested in their submissions that the speed be reduced to 50kph from Racecourse Road to the Methven Walkway.
The council also suggested reducing the current speed of 100kph down to 80kph from the Methven Walkway up to where SH77 detours along Waimarama Road to increase safety for people travelling to Mt Hutt.
Across town, a new footpath on Mackie Street will be delayed.
A planned water main upgrade on Mackie Street is being brought forward to early 2023 and the footpath construction will be completed afterwards, before the end of the 2022/23 year.
- By Jonathan Leask