The next swathe of regeneration projects for the Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor are taking shape.
Preliminary designs and information for the City to Sea Pathway, proposed developments at Kerrs Reach, and an estuarine wetland at Bexley has been published today.
Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge says the new information provides more clarity and detail for a prioritised group of projects.
“We have done a lot of work behind the scenes, and it’s exciting to be able to share more information about these key projects with the community,” says Mr Rutledge.
“We’re preparing to progress work on the City to Sea Pathway and the Bexley wetland, and to apply for a plan-change process to make some significant changes to Kerrs Reach.”
Details around one of the centre-pieces of the OARC, the City to Sea Pathway, are firming up. The 11km-long shared-use, all-weather route will largely follow the course of the Ōtākaro Avon River from Barbadoes Street in the central city to Pages Road in New Brighton.
“Due to the length of the Pathway, it will be designed and constructed in three sections,” says Mr Rutledge.
“At an average of four metres wide, it’s designed to be enjoyed by everyone, and a surrounding network of minor paths will connect the Pathway to the surrounding communities.
“This Pathway is one of the centrepieces of the OARC Regeneration Plan, and we’re moving closer to putting spades in the ground. We anticipate construction on the Pathway will begin next summer.”
As part of the City to Sea Pathway, a new footbridge will be constructed at Dallington, after collaborating with students from the University of Canterbury. This work, and the development of the upper terrace at Avon Park, is funded by the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust.
Plans for a new riverside landing, and to relocate the existing Kerrs Reach flatwater sports’ clubs facilities to the opposite side of the river are also progressing, with artist renders and preliminary plans published today. This proposal will trigger a Christchurch District Plan change process that the Council will apply for.
Mr Rutledge says the proposed Kerrs Reach developments will be a significant project for the OARC.
“By relocating the existing flatwater sports buildings and facilities across the river, we can repurpose the current car park, bridge, lighting and underground services at Kerrs Reach for a new Wainoni riverside landing.”
Mr Rutledge says the new landing could include a pavilion that can be booked for community events, a seasonal kiosk, outdoor spaces for markets and gathering, an events space, river-viewing platforms, boardwalks and cultural design elements.
The creation of an estuarine wetland at Bexley, complete with improved stopbanks and stormwater treatment capabilities will be planned in conjunction with a project to upgrade the Pages Road bridge.
New stopbanks will be constructed further away from the river’s edge, then the current stopbanks removed to let the land flood naturally and create a new wetland.
New features planned for this area include a riverside landing (as a future stage), shared path access, a protected bird roost/nesting site on the southern spit and some forested areas at the southern end of the wetland, where the land is higher and has less salt in the groundwater.
For more information on these projects visit ccc.govt.nz/oarc.