Katikati’s newest piece of tar seal is being hailed as the town’s ‘mini-by-pass’ – offering multiple benefits to residents – after being officially opened at 10am yesterday.
Katikati kaumatua Paeahi Wanakore and St Peters Church Rev Brendon Gibbs blessed the newly constructed 730 metres of road, while Western Bay of Plenty District Council Mayor Ross Patterson cut the ribbon – declaring the link open between Carisbrooke St, Middlebrook Drive and Sheffield St.
Katikati kaumatua Paeahi Wanakore led representatives of Runanga Ngai Tamawhariua and invited guests on a tour of the newly opened road between Carisbrooke St, Middlebrook Drive and Sheffield St.
Paeahi led representatives of Runanga Ngai Tamawhariua and invited guests including representatives of Katikati’s rugby and soccer clubs, the New Zealand Fire Service, local councillors, Katikati Community Board members, contractors involved in the project and council staff on a walk along the road.
Before cutting the ribbon, the mayor said the new road is in effect a “mini-by-pass” as it enables those living on the western side of the town to access the industrial area and supermarket – without the need to travel along or cross the busy main highway.
“The $1.5 million project has come in under budget and on time and also opened up access to the extensive sports fields and facilities of Moore Park,” says Ross.
“The road is well constructed and flanked by two metre wide footpaths, providing ample room for mobility scooters and foot traffic.”
Katikati Community Board member Brendan Gibbs says the new link has three benefits for the township – with the first being it offers the next step in both the local fire brigade (of which he is a member) and the St John ambulance building separate new stations on the link.
“The number of people using it already to come and go from the Woolworth’s supermarket [without having to use SH2] has increased,” says Brendan. “And it will be good for new the Middlebrook subdivision [nearby] – by connecting it to town, without them having to go down the main road.”
The concept was first floated in 2005 and while it had taken time to achieve, now it was a reality it would serve the community for several generations.
Ross says the new road enhances Moore Park and the orchard land, that council purchased late last century, has now added to the playing fields.
“It is sometimes difficult to convince ratepayers of the importance of these kinds of strategic land purchases at the time, says Ross. “But now the extended Moore Park grounds are used by hundreds of players and families each weekend.”