Roadworks shelved for winter


Roadworks on Newell Road are to be put on hold for the winter.

The Waikato District Council (WDC) and the contractor, HEB Construction, have decided that due to deteriorating weather the project, which includes resealing and adding a footpath will be completed in spring or early summer.

UPDATE: The project, originally expected to cost $736,580, had been scheduled to be finished by May 10.

Tamahere Forum had reported that the project was understood to have gone well over budget. WDC design manager Campbell Moore says that in fact the project is expected to be well under budget.

“We had a budget of $872,544,” he told Tamahere Forum.

“Council have approved a contract to the value of $736,580. The final construction cost could be as much as $90,000 below that figure, meaning we could spend as little as $646,580, which is basically $226,000 under budget. Almost half of the budget for this project is provided by the New Zealand Transport Agency as subsidised road maintenance.”

The section remaining to be completed later this year is around the Newell Road-Birchwood Lane intersection.

If work continued there was a risk that poor weather would delay the road sealing with ongoing inconvenience for motorists, said Waikato District Council General Manager Service Delivery Tim Harty in a media release.

“By putting the project on hold until the weather improves we can make sure it is completed with minimal disruption to the community,” he said.

As well as the resealing and addition of a footpath the project was designed to replace the road berm and improve drainage though some locals have found work so far has created new roadside ponds.

According to the council media release the postponed completion “will not impact on motorists using Newell Road over the coming months”.

Let us know your view of the Newell Rd roadworks. Comment below.

5 thoughts on “Roadworks shelved for winter

  • June 9, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    The roadworks have been an appalling waste of money. We have lived here 20 years and never had a drainage problem before, and now ponding is extreme, even after average rainfall. Last night’s moderate rain of 30mm has left water lying up and down in the road, in places that used to be free-draining. The road is now far more dangerous than it ever was, as it is narrower and the berms are so much steeper than before. Cars are now unable to pull off, even in an emergency situation. Personally, we have had our telephone and electricity accidentally cut off, our driveways, trees and fences damaged by careless or deliberate action. All this would be tolerable, if we were going to end up with a better situation than before, but this is patently not the case. The road was an attractive, tree lined stretch before, safe to walk along as the verges were wide and generally well maintained – and it now looks like a warzone. I used to walk up and down the road every day, but the road has been impassable by foot since early March. And it now looks as though it won’t be accessible until summer at the earliest.
    When I queried the rationale for the work with the council in March, I was informed that ‘it had been requested by the Tamahere community’. I have yet to meet with anyone in our neighbourhood that thinks that the work was either necessary or an appropriate use of ratepayer money. Perhaps the council should use the stoppage of the roadworks over winter to assess whether it is sensible to extend the ‘improvements’ beyond the stretch that has already been destroyed?

  • June 4, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    The footpaths down Newell Rd are a disaster. The road has been raised higher, the road sides slope down to the footpath so all the water flows off the road and swamps the path. The sides of the road that we all care for are sloped too steep into the drains so the water when it rains fills up the drains as they go know where , sog up the ground and we don’t have a show at all in being able to mow our verges. They will be an eyesore from here on in. We along with others have the entrance into our properties unfinished with metal piled up and we have trucks coming and going right through the week. It will eventually wreck the kerbing that has been installed. We all would like to know when and how often the council is sending a mower out to cut the verges when the grass starts to grow. As we can’t attend to what we cared for before all this work started we would all like to know when it is being done and how often. We run a business from home and care for all our property and don’t want the frontage turning into a paddock unkept. There is no way we can mow it the way it is. Because of the way the road has been finished both sides of the road are going to turn into swampy lakes and coming into our properties. These roadworks have turned into an absolute shambles, an abortion and a waste of our Tax Payers money. If its way over budget now, by the time its finished it will be blown out. I have nothing positive to say about the work done on Newell Rd.

    • June 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      Thanks for the feedback. It will be brought to the council’s attention. Feedback from others welcome.

    • June 5, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      Waikato District Council design manager Campbell Moore has responded to Joy’s concerns regarding the steepness of the swales. “The finished swales will be graded between 1 : 8 to 1 : 6 (1m vertical per every 8 or 6m horizontal). 1 : 4 is generally considered to be mowable, although we could expect some minor consolidation of the new topsoil as the grass establishes.”

      • June 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm

        I have to agree with Joy. We now have drains where there was no drainage issue before, extensive lakes of water where there were lawns before (or mud when that soaks in), pipes and steep sides to the drive ways that need extra special care and a footpath that is often underwater. The water now floods right across the road and ponds at multiple points. Finished swale top soil work is dug up, driven through, contaminated by rocks as big as your hand or stones, gravel or sand. I spent three hours raking out half of mine so I dont wreck my mower but the rest is to bad to do. The swale design is unsightly, creates water problems and makes maintenance difficult for residents. It is not wanted. Spend the money on something people actually want and fill it back in.


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