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Council locks in road fix ups

Council locks in road fix ups

The public wants more spent on the roads, according to a residents' survey.

The annual survey found 61% of respondents wanted the council to spend more on roading.

With Waka Kotahi funding set in advance on a three-year cycle, the Ashburton District Council is again spending more of its own money on improving the roading network, but not quite as much as last year.

Infrastructure and open spaces group manager, Neil McCann, said the council would spend $11.4m on roading projects in 2023/24.

That’s lower than 2022/23 when the council put $1.7m of forestry reserve funds into unsubsidised road rehabilitation.

The council has approved $2.09m for unsubsidised works this year - $1.09m for capital projects and $1m for sealed road overlays.

The list of capital projects totals around $890,000 and was subject to “contract cost fluctuations” McCann said.

Any left over money would go towards the next project on the list.

The other $1m is for resurfacing an additional 3.6km to the district-wide rehabilitation programme.

Council chief executive Hamish Riach said this was added to address some of the issues with the state of the roading network.

As part of the Waka Kotahi subsidised renewal budget of $7.3m, $2.14m is also included for sealed road rehabilitation.

The worst areas get work done first, road manager Mark Chamberlain said.

The capital projects included a cost-share between the council and the Camrose Estates developers due to a historic consent agreement to split the cost evenly on sealing Holmes Road and upgrading one side of Barkers Road.

Another project is the Tinwald carpark in front of the shopping centre, which requires a $100,000 resurfacing.

Councillor Richard Wilson raised his concern about the spread of the projects, noting the higher number of urban road projects getting approved when the residents’ survey highlighted higher levels of dissatisfaction from those outside the Ashburton town boundary.

“Sure they will be able to get their fish and chips in more comfort in Tinwald, but it may not help them when they leave Tinwald and go on the rural roads.”

In response, Ashburton Mayor Neil Brown noted the majority of the projects “seem to be to the south of the district and not the north”.

Unsubsidised roading projects 2023/24:

• Camrose Estates, Methven, cost share Holmes Road/Barkers Road frontage upgrades - $470,714

• Baring Square East coal tar removal - $75,000

• Tinwald car park resurfacing - $100,000

• Racecourse Road kerb and channel and footpath - $185,000

• Mackie Street, Methven, footpath - $60,000

Unsubsidised sealed road overlays 2023/24

• Ealing Montalto Road 0.990 km

• Ealing Montalto Road 0.990 km

• Lismore Mayfield Road 1.400 km

• Maronan Road 0.410 km

Subsidised sealed road rehabilitation sites for 2023/24

• Thompsons Track 1.107 km

• Thompsons Track 1.332 km

• Seafield Road 1.260 km

• Tinwald Westerfield Mayfield Road 0.860 km

• Tramway Road 0.672 km

• Chalmers Ave Roundabout – Beach Rd/Moore St 0.090 km

• Chalmers Ave Roundabout – Bridge St/Walnut Ave 0.070 km

By Jonathan Leask