Design stage for $1.6m velodrome begins

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The final stage of the design process for the Saxton Velodrome is about to be completed, marking the start of the business end of the $1.6 million project that is scheduled for completion in 18 months.

Representatives of the Saxton Velodrome Trust, Tasman District Council and Nelson City Council, met with the velodrome’s designers, engineering consultants Opus, in Nelson last Thursday. Once the design has been fine-tuned the construction stage of the velodrome can begin, with initial earthworks expected to start in March.

Trustee Paul Jennings says Opus has designed velodromes in the North Island and already has a template for venue at Saxton Field, but the design “just needs fine tuning”. Tasman District Council’s project manager for the velodrome, Glen Thorn, says they are working hard with Opus and their technical team to finalise the design. Glen says they need to ensure there are “no surprises” during the construction, so that they can hopefully “come in under budget.”

Paul says one of the key elements of the design is the training and recreational area inside the track.

“It’s not going to be an elite velodrome just for track riders,” he says. “It’s a community facility that will be used by a wider range of groups.”

Paul says the project has a tight timeframe, with the earthworks that will form the foundation of the banked 330 metre track starting in March. Then there will be a six-month wait while the earthworks settle and compacts before the surface of the track is sealed with asphalt.

However, Paul says the trust will have to get busy fundraising as soon as the design is finalised. It needs to raise about $400,000 as its share of the project, which is also being funded by the two councils.