Roads get funding windfall

DIY road repairs. Pahi resident, Thane Colquhoun, found concreting a large pothole in Picadilly Street a “quicker solution than waiting for council.”

Kaipara’s troubled roading network is about to get a multimillion-dollar financial boost, but some of the 211 slips in the district may be with us for the foreseeable future as repair work is listed in priority order.

In particular, repairs to one slip on a well-used road may be years away. However, in a related issue, work on dilapidated footpaths in Dargaville has been allocated extra resources to speed up repairs.

Mayor Jason Smith has made roading a priority since his election.

“Our biggest issue is roading. Right now we have the biggest ever road spend at $3 million a month from now until June 30,” he told KLTV.

“We'll never have a rate of improvement like people are about to see. we're going to see some real action.”

The funding windfall comes after allocated spending for the financial year fell short of budget. Asked later if slips were being targeted in the increased spend, Mayor Smith said: “The details of the roading work programme across Kaipara District, considering the level of spend, are extensive. An added complication is that the weather plays a big part in which scheduled tasks can be done when intended and which must be reprioritised.

“So it’s dynamic, not constant. The positive right now is that more money will lead to improved roads, whether that’s slips, heavy metalling or other remedial works.”

A slip on Pahi Road near Paparoa, four months ago, reduced traffic to a single lane. KDC infrastructure field officer, Jenny King, says the slip “is currently sitting on number 119 in our slip priority list. The maintenance crew have done some temporary remedial works there and it is being monitored, but permanent repairs are not planned for the next few years.”

In a concurrent statement, KDC says footpath repairs are being concentrated within the Dargaville township.

“Repairs started prior to Christmas and will continue through March. The current footpath repairs have certainly taken longer than council expected and this has been addressed,” said communications officer, Ben Hope.

“The contractor will also engage a local subcontractor in a programme of work of approximately $75,000 to help complete the remaining repairs.”

The future prospects for Kaipara roading and infrastructure are contained in the Long Term Plan, which is currently open for submissions.


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