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Carterton faced with costly dilemma

Carterton District Council has sounded the alarm about the state of its roads, warning that failure to invest in infrastructure could lead to safety issues and closures.

In its draft Long-Term Plan [LTP] Consultation Document, which is set to be approved by elected members today, two options for renewals are put forward.

Option 1 would involve maintaining usable and safe roads with all emergency reinstatements, low-cost low-risk projects, pavement rehabilitation, and increased road maintenance such as grading and culvert clearing.

However, this option would come at a significant cost of $3.084 million in operating expenses in the coming financial year and $3.645 million in capital expenses over the first three years of the LTP.

Option 2, the council’s preferred choice, would still maintain usable and safe roads with increased pavement rehabilitation and road maintenance, but some activities would be reduced.

“This is our preferred option due to it being less of a cost burden to ratepayers,” the council said.

This option poses significant risks including neglecting dangerous intersections and known crash sites, compromising road assets, and potentially isolating communities due to road closures.

The cost of Option 2 would be $1.971 million in operating expenses in the coming financial year and $300,000 in capital expenses over the LTP’s first three years.

The council’s LTP Consultation Document draft said there are two main issues with roading maintenance: historic underinvestment and cost increases.

“The cost of maintaining our roads is increasing,” the council document said.

“It now costs 37 per cent more to do the same as what we do currently.

“Due to historic underinvestment, our roads have deteriorated to the point they are now requiring 30 per cent more maintenance in terms of number of potholes and general repairs.

“This means we need to increase our annual pavement rehabilitation from 0.3 per cent of the network to 1 per cent, increase our road resurfacing, and drainage renewal.

“A failure to do so will result in further deterioration of our roads to the point of road closures.

“If we stick to our current level of service — as in, we make no changes to what we are doing now — there will be a significant rating increase, and yet our roads will deteriorate to the point of an unsustainable number of potholes, road damage, unsafe roads, and the potential closure of some roads.”

The current level of annual pavement rehabilitation means it would take 300 years to resurface the entire roading network across the district.

Once the consultation document is approved, consultation will begin on April 5 and close on May 5.

All information and supporting documents will be available online at www.cdc.govt.nz/haveyoursay

-NZLDR
Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

1 COMMENT

  1. Totally mismanaged by council? THE PREVIOUS GOVERNMENT CREATED A NANNY STATE WITH ROAD SAFETY LAWS THAT COST MORE TO IMPLEMENT THAN THE WORK BEING DONE. 🙄 🤔 PLEASE BRING BACK COMMONSENSE 😢 🙏 😫 😭.

Comments are closed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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