Shared pathway for Airport Ave

Travellers will soon be able to walk or cycle to the airport from Stead St with the construction of a new shared pathway on Airport Ave.

A shared-use pathway with significant landscaping is being constructed along the eastern side of Airport Ave, beginning Monday, July 18.

Invercargill City Council Manager Engineering Services Jeremy Rees said it made sense given the proximity of the city to be able to cycle or walk to the airport.

“Not only will it be safe for travellers to walk down Airport Ave it will also be significantly landscaped, making a far more pleasant welcoming sight for visitors,” Rees said.

“It will be great to have a more attractive lead-in to the city as well as giving people the novel opportunity to hop on their bike and then hop on a jet.”

Work would involve stripping out the bush, replacing it with landscaped native plantings and building the 3m-wide path, which was expected to be completed in September. Planting would continue into October to take advantage of the warmer weather, he said.

“Traffic management will be in place during construction but we don’t foresee it causing any real delays to Airport Ave users in the meantime,” he said.

“We expect the road to remain two-way for the majority of construction.”

The pathway would also link to work being completed at the Airport precinct, which includes an upgraded pathway.

“It’s a good opportunity to continue with the work being completed on Stead St and is part of the Kānoa ‘shovel-ready’ funding tranche,” Rees said.

Invercargill City Council has been upgrading both the Stead St and Cobbe Rd stopbanks with a sheet pile wall and earthen embankment to protect the city, the Invercargill Airport and critical infrastructure from extreme weather events, sea level rise and further effects of climate change. 

Council is investing $4.7 million in the project with additional funding of $10.8m from Kānoa – the Regional Economic Development and Investment Unit, as part of a wider focus on the region’s flood protection and river management schemes, with support for several ‘shovel-ready’ projects in Southland announced in 2020.

After winter work will take place which will encompass the cutural artwork designed for the Stopbank. 

The artwork, designed and developed by Waihōpai Rūnaka, which would celebrate and reflect the beauty, bounty and importance of the Estuary and the Waihōpai River.