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Road progress in slow lane

Western Lake Rd resident and Featherston Community Board member Claire Bleakley at the dangerous corner. PHOTO/ELI HILL

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Road works left half-finished for over a month have left residents of Western Lake Rd feeling forgotten by the South Wairarapa District Council.

In late March, patches of the road 6km outside of Featherston were pulled up by contractors from Fulton Hogan.

“They would’ve been here a day, maybe two. Then they left with all their road signs still in place. I would’ve thought you’d finish it all in one go,” resident Mike Hurrell said.

One corner, in particular, worried both him and neighbour Claire Bleakley – a right-hand bend with a steep camber to it.

Since roadworks began, the pair say gravel from the road works has spread on to both sides of the road and is causing cars to slip when turning.

“As a motorist I got a bit concerned after a week or so,” Hurrell said. “I thought ‘this should’ve been done’ – that’s when I got in touch with the council.

“I’ve seen them twice in this month over the same issue. I don’t know why the contractors haven’t come back to finish their job.”

Hurrell said that despite the patch being the most dangerous part of the road no one had got back in contact with him.

“When I first went and saw them they said the weather hasn’t been good so we can’t lay anything. That’s a load of rubbish. There’s been some really good weather for laying road.

“If you look around there’s roads being laid all around the place.”

In response to questions South Wairarapa District Council passed on a response from Fulton Hogan’s Wairarapa maintenance manager Jeremy Harp.

“With the weather the way it is, it is hit and miss with sealing [due to] wet/cold/windy [conditions].

“We have been on site with the sprayer and pulled the pin as patches were too wet. These patches have been prepped twice so far and will need prepping again.”

Harp said a 30kmh speed restriction was in place and if people drove to the restriction the road wouldn’t be dangerous.

“We will endeavour to get them sealed this week, weather permitting”

But neither Hurrell nor Bleakley is buying the weather excuse.

“It’s been good weather here since Monday,” Bleakley, who sits on the Featherston Community Board, said.

“I haven’t seen anyone here.”

Bleakley said the council should’ve waited before beginning the repairs.

“Then they could’ve done a proper job because now they’re going to have to repeat all the work they’ve done.

“It’s now like a washboard, if you take that corner unaware you actually swivel. All I’m saying is the potential for an accident to happen with this delay is far more.”

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