It has been a long ride for supporters of the Saxton Velodrome but the project finally passed under the one kilometre to go banner last week when contractors started sealing the 333m track.
Although there is still security fencing, some landscaping, track marking and signage to be completed, sealing the track is the last significant stage of the $2million project which started back in June 2015.
The velodrome is now on schedule for an official opening in early December and Saxton Velodrome Trust member Rob Ford says everyone involved is delighted the finish line is in sight.
“This is the milestone of the project,” Rob says.
“It’s been long road – I’ve been here since 2008 and there been plenty of hurdles, but it’s great to see the finished product. All the trustees and the two councils have been working hard to get it finished. It’s going to be a great asset for the whole community, not just he cyclists.”
Tasman District Council reserves officer Glenn Thorn, who is overseeing the project, says the sealing is a complex operation requiring a special machine which had to be transported to Nelson from Auckland.
“It’s the only one in New Zealand and it’s designed to pour a seven-metre-wide strip of seal. That’s critical because it means the track will only have one join, where the seal starts and finishes.”
“It will be laying two seals over a couple of days. The first layer will be a bit of a test run and that will have to cure and then the second layer has got to be perfect.”
The project has been jointly funded by the Tasman district and Nelson city councils and the Saxton Velodrome Trust.
Rob says the project would not have happened without the volunteers on the trust and grants from Rata foundation, Mainland Trust and Lion foundation.