The sight of bodies on bikes along the Te Aroha to Matamata Hauraki Rail Trail is one step closer to reality now track construction is underway.
Splice Construction, who were awarded the construction tender late last year, began work on this leg of the trail on 8 January 2019, following a blessing by Kaumatua Mokoro Gillett.
The 38kilometre grade one track will start from the Te Aroha Railway Station and head along Te Aroha-Gordon Road, Mace and Alexandra Roads, Manawaru and Tower Roads to the Matamata Trail head by Railside by the Green on Hetana Street.
Hauraki Rail Trail Trust General Manager Diane Drummond is excited to see track construction underway.
“Enquiries on when the new route will be rideable have been high, with visitors lining up to be among the first to experience the new trail.
“The cycle-trail leading to Matamata is a key component of the Rail Trail network and is expected to drive cycle-related visitor numbers to nearly 130,000 per annum over the next few years.”
Diane said the creation of the Hauraki Rail Trail has been a huge boost for businesses in the Hauraki and Waikato regions and the Hauraki Rail Trail Trust has engaged with social media guru Cass Esposito, to increase traffic to the Hauraki Rail Trail website.
“This is increasing exposure to business partners and increasing visitor nights from our major markets. Numbers are already up across the network with some businesses reporting 50 per cent growth on this time last year.”
There is still a lot of work to be done before people will be able to experience this leg of the Rail Trail.
Hedge removal and fence construction will continue over the next few months and six bridges will be installed in various locations.
Landscaping and signage will also begin appearing later this year, ahead of the official opening in the late stages of 2019.
Photo caption: James Lux - Splice Construction Project Manager, Manaia Te Wiata - Matamata-Piako District Council Group Manager Business Support, Shaun O'Neill - Hauraki Rail Trail Trustee, Andrew Prince - Splice Construction Foreman, Richard Leggat - Chair NZ Cycle Trails, Diane Drummond - General Manager, Hauraki Rail Trail Trust. Manawaru Road, Matamata-Piako