Wellington's eastern gateway

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Project nears completion

The official opening of the Cobham Drive paths will happen at 8.30am, on Monday 15 March. There will be a blessing by iwi and the Minister of Transport, Hon Michael Wood, will cut the ribbon on both paths.

With the major coastal clean-up and erosion protection work complete, contractors are finishing the final sections of path, reinstating the car park and landscaping the big area where the boulders and construction compound were. The major work will be completed in early March, apart from a few finishing touches and the last of the planting, which will be done in autumn. To conserve water, and give the plants the best chance, we don’t plant over summer.

Towards the end of any big job like this, we also work with contractors to rectify anything that isn’t of a high enough quality. They have identified a few sections of path completed early in the project that aren’t up to the same high standard as the rest, and are re-doing them at their expense.

The Urban Forest wind sculpture has been removed for well-earned maintenance and repairs. It will be returned to the site later this year.

Background

The Cobham Drive walking and biking improvements along the seaward side of Cobham Drive are part of our plan to turn this coastal recreation area into an eastern gateway for Wellington.

This is the main transport route to and from Wellington Airport and is often the first glimpse of the city and its harbour for visitors. It's also home to the Meridian Energy Wind Sculpture Walk.

The new two-way bike path and separate footpath will make things safer and more enjoyable for everyone. Landscaping, planting, seats and bike parking will provide places where people can enjoy the views.  

As a popular commuter route from the east, and visitor and recreational destination, the route forms part of Tahitai and Te Aranui o Pōneke / the Great Harbour Way – our region’s goal to one day have a walking and cycling path all the way around Wellington Harbour to Sinclair Head on the south coast.

Cobham Drive artist's impressions

190809 IGL Cobham Drive Beach Name Web

Te Awa-a-Taia (the beach and park area near Evans Bay Marina and the Zephyrometer wind sculpture).

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Cobham Drive landscaped area 2 artists impression Aug 2019

One of the landscaped areas being developed along Cobham Drive.

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Cobham Drive landscaped area artists impression Aug 2019

One of the landscaped areas being developed along Cobham Drive.

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Cobham Drive under plane artists impression Aug 2019

One of the landscaped areas being developed along Cobham Drive (near the airport runway).

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Cobham Drive urban forest artists impression Aug 2019

The area near the Urban Forest sculpture.

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Cobham Drive urban forest artists impression from road Aug 2019

The area near the Urban Forest sculpture.

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Cobham Drive wind sock akau tangi artists impression Aug 2019

The area near Akau Tangi wind sculpture.

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The first section of the new paths on Miramar Avenue, between Miramar wharf and Calabar Road, was completed in December 2017.

New street lighting poles with LED lights and banners were installed along the Cobham Drive central median during 2018 and early 2019, and cables were moved underground. The old street lighting and trolley bus poles were removed as part of this work.

Construction work on the new paths and landscaping resumed in May 2019.

Most of the new paths, landscaping, planting, lighting, seats, viewing platforms at the wind sculptures, and improvements at the small beach area at Evans Bay Marina were completed during 2020.

The remaining sections of path and landscaping, and the Troy Street carpark area, will be completed in March 2021. There will still be some tidying up required and planting will resume in autumn / winter 2021 (planting will happen over about five years, with the hardiest species planted first).

Councillors approved the project in June 2017 following community engagement. 

What to expect during construction

The area along the seaward side of Cobham Drive will be landscaped and planted with hardy coastal species.

The wind sculptures will be enhanced with landscaping, seats and bike parking.

The existing shared path will be replaced with a two-way bike path and separate footpath.

The small off-street parking area near the Troy Street roundabout will be upgraded, with new bike parking and five P180 car parks. 

See the details of what's changing

The new Cobham Drive paths are part of the harbourside route around Akau Tangi / Evans Bay, named as Tahitai (one tide, one journey) by Taranaki Whānui ki Te Upoko o te Ika. 

This route will also form part of a future Te Aranui o Pōneke / the Great Harbour Way.

With the first phase of the two-way coastal bike path on Evans Bay also under way, the Cobham Drive paths will help to connect the eastern suburbs with the central city. Once complete, it will be possible to ride the 7km journey between Miramar cutting and the city without having to ride on the road.

Keep up to date with how work on Cobham Drive is going and understand the process so far. New events will be added as the project progresses.

View the project timeline

The Let's Get Wellington Moving programme plans to make it safer for people to cross Cobham Drive.

A safe crossing would connect with the new footpaths on the seaward side of Cobham Drive, around Evans Bay, and new paths in and around Kilbirnie.

Tahitai pathway map

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