Plans to seal ‘atro­cious’ road on hold

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - News - Karen Hunt

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.

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