Mt Barker res­i­dents ramp up pres­sure for Bal­lan­tyne Road

Central Otago Mirror - - CROMWELL BUSINESS HUB - MAR­JORIE COOK

Mt Barker res­i­dents want a $300,000 to $500,000 bud­get from the Queen­stown Lakes District Coun­cil to prop­erly seal Bal­lan­tyne Rd, be­tween Wanaka and its air­port.

Queen­stown Lakes District mayor Jim Boult said that de­pended on NZ Trans­port Agency sup­port.

In the mean­time, there would be a tem­po­rary seal of gravel sec­tions with Otta seal.

Mt Barker Res­i­dents and Ratepay­ers As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Rus­sell Black­grove re­peated mem­bers’ on­go­ing road safety con­cerns at the an­nual plan hear­ing in Wanaka on June 1.

Last Oc­to­ber, Lug­gate teenager Jack­son James Aitchi­son, 17, died when his Toy­ota car left a gravel and Otta sealed stretch of Bal­lan­tyne Rd and hit a tree.

When Boult con­firmed tem­po­rary seal­ing, Black­grove re­sponded: ’’That’s great news.

‘‘I was just start­ing to worry that as an age­ing chair­man I would be dead be­fore it hap­pens.’’

Black­grove said he did not want to bag the Wanaka Com­mu­nity Board ‘‘but I would like to still have a wee griz­zle’’.

Just 2km of the road re­quired tem­po­rary Otta seal­ing, and res­i­dents would be ‘‘rapt’’ if that hap­pened, ’’even if en­gi­neers are not’’.

De­spite nu­mer­ous meet­ings over many years, the dan­ger­ous dust and cor­ru­ga­tions re­mained.

The road sur­face al­ter­nates from full seal, gravel and Otta seal along the 7km that is get­ting an in­creas­ing amount of tourist traf­fic.

Be­tween 50 and 60 houses have ac­cess and, with de­vel­op­ment in full swing at Three Parks, work was now ur­gent, Black­grove said.

Boult said fol­low­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tions from Wanaka Com­mu­nity Board mem­ber Ed Tay­lor, tem­po­rary Otta seal would be laid.

Coun­cil staff were also talk­ing with the NZ Trans­port Agency about a full seal but Boult warned there were ‘‘dif­fer­ences’’ in what each wanted.

‘‘Get­ting what we want out of NZTA is not easy. There is no point hav­ing a half done job. Let’s fin­ish it off, in my view,’’ Boult said.

Bal­lan­tyne Rd res­i­dent Bron­wyn Co­ers said the po­lice, fire, and search and res­cue build­ings and the new sports sta­dium were all on Bal­lan­tyne Rd. Po­ten­tially a new school could be there too, she said.

‘‘Rest as­sured we have the blow­torch firmly on that, to do some­time sooner rather than later,’’ Boult said.

MAR­JORIE COOK/FAIR­FAX NZ

Per­ma­nent 50kmh signs went up on Bal­lan­tyne Rd after a 17-year-old died in a car crash in 2016.

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