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Summit Road section reopens to cyclists and walkers

Summit Road section and tracks reopen to cyclists and walkers

Cyclists, walkers and runners will soon be returning to a section of the Summit Road and the surrounding Port Hills tracks.

The 3.4 kilometre section of road between the Rapaki Track and the Bridle Path Track will reopen to recreational users and emergency vehicles today. Tracks reopening include Whakaraupo, part of the Crater Rim walking track, and the bike track between the Bridle Path and Castle Rock.

The road was closed under Section 46 of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Act by CERA because of the significant rockfall risk after the earthquakes. Nearby tracks on park land were also closed.

Since then, work has taken place to address geotechnical hazards to reduce the risk to people using the road and tracks. Rock that poses a risk has been removed and, where possible, placed in a safer spot nearby.

Christchurch City Council Chief Executive Karleen Edwards welcomes the reopening, saying it offers a great recreational option for residents.

"Cyclists, joggers and walkers will welcome the chance to return to the Summit Road and enjoy more of the stunning views and natural beauty this area has to offer," says Dr Edwards.

CERA chief executive, Roger Sutton, says as an avid recreational cyclist and keen enthusiast of the Summit Road's boundless opportunities for play and fun he's delighted the tracks are reopening to the people of Christchurch.

"I love that particular area for its spectacular scenery and limitless opportunities for recreational pursuits; walking, cycling, running or simply contemplating the stunning views and it was a tough call to close it off for safety reasons when we did. However, that's in the past and we're now confident people can use the amenity this area now offers safely. My advice is to get on your bike or put on your walking shoes and go take a look for yourself," Roger Sutton says.

The road is not being reopened to vehicles, other than emergency vehicles and those required for management purposes, as it has not been repaired yet. Road rules apply, so cyclists and walkers should keep to the left and be aware the road is uneven and reduced to one lane in places. Livestock are in the area and may wander onto the road.

As with other bike tracks on the Port Hills, the reopened tracks may temporarily close in poor weather. You can check a track's status on the Council's website at http:// www.ccc.govt.nz/trackstatus

Some tracks have been realigned as some surrounding areas are at higher risk of rockfall, for example below Castle Rock. Please follow all signs and keep to the marked tracks. Private land is crossed in places and the Council would like to thank the landowners, the Stevens Family Trust, for access.

The section of the Summit Road between the Bridle Path and Mount Pleasant remains closed as a significant rockfall risk remains.

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