The Dunedin Tunnels Trail Trust expects to see the first stages of a planned Mosgiel to Dunedin cycle trail under way this year, after a memorandum of understanding for trail maintenance was signed with the Dunedin City Council last month.
Trustee Gerard Hyland said the memorandum would let the trust formally apply for trail funding once specific project stages had been defined. The first of those stages was likely to be the reopening of the 450m long former Chain Hills rail tunnel to link Wingatui and Green Island.
That tunnel, one of two on the planned trail, had ‘‘fewer obstacles’’ to opening than the second, Caversham, tunnel, Hyland said.
‘‘The Caversham tunnel is longer (865m) and has water, sewage, gas and power lines running through it. ‘‘Chain Hills has only modern sewage pipes inside and is in better overall condition.’’ He said a recent engineering report on the Chain Hills tunnel had established its basic safety with a final, more detailed report expected by February. If that proved positive, fundraising for the first section of the trail from Wingatui to Green Island would begin in earnest.
‘‘Once people start to see the benefits of the trail to tourism, commuters and public recreation, I can see genuine progress being made.’’
From DScene, Reporter