Mt Barker residents ramp up pressure for Ballantyne Road
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.
Permanent 50kmh signs went up on Ballantyne Rd after a 17-year-old died in a car crash in 2016.