Plans to seal ‘atrocious’ road on hold
BRIDGETOWN-Greenbushes Shire Council has come under fire over the condition of Blackwood Park Road, one of the shire’s oldest, but not all residents support sealing it.
Resident and former shire councillor Michael Southwell expressed frustration that plans to upgrade the road, which he said was potholed and dangerous, had been repeatedly deferred.
He said the council had “backflipped” in the roadworks plan released with its new budget and decided not to seal the road, instead saying it would be re-sheeted, but not until 2018-19.
Fellow resident Carole Barrington said the “atrocious” road “continued to eat cars”.
“I know there are not a lot of houses on the road, but we pay our rates,” she said.
Another Blackwood Park Road property owner, Jamie Doust, said the road should be better maintained but did not necessarily support sealing it, saying it could encourage speeding.
“It’s graded quite frequently but it hasn’t been re-sheeted for some time,” he said. “We’re unaware of when they did it last.”
Shire chief executive officer Tim Clynch said the council had more than 550km of gravel roads and 250km of sealed roads to maintain and received many inquiries about sealing roads.
“The average daily traffic count on Blackwood Park Road is approximately 50 vehicles per day which is quite acceptable for a gravel road,” Mr Clynch said.
The plan to seal it was scrapped not due to State Government budget cuts but because the council had decided to prioritise maintenance and renewal over upgrading and building new roads.
“Council made this decision after receiving a significant amount of community feedback during the winter and spring of 2016 regarding the need for greater maintenance of roads,” he said.
As a result, he said, an extra $100,000 per year was being spent on grading, drainage and other works rather than on construction.