Tourism unaffected by roadworks
Broadway’s roadworks are not putting off Matamata’s tourists. ‘‘We are still welcoming at least a 1000 people a day through the i-SITE,’’ manager of the Matamata Public Relations Association, Sue Whiting, said.
She had seen no difference in tourist numbers this year in comparison to last year.
Whiting said most of the local businesses had been positive about the roadworks and understood that the job had to be done.
The PRA received some complaints from businesses however Whiting said they passed those on to the New Zealand Transport Agency which responded quickly.
The issue of dust was quickly dealt with, according to a member of the front of house staff at the Italian restaurant Osteria Da Gino.
‘‘The roadwork contractors spray it with water so it’s not a big deal,’’ Orlando Hansen said.
Parking was more the issue with roadworks making it hard for people to park near the restaurant, he said.
‘‘I was talking to Redoubt yesterday and they said they have noticed that people have to walk to them as the road is closed at night.’’
Mayor Jan Barnes commended the NZTA on their good communication about the project. ‘‘They have involved local businesses, got their feedback, involved the Matamata Business Association and put out a contact number,’’ she said.
A section of Firth St was upgraded at the beginning of the works and NZTA said no more works were planned.
Stage one of the roadworks on Broadway from Meura St to the I-site had finished, Transport agency representative Harry Wilson said.
That step, which entailed pavement stabilisation and laying down chip seal on Broadway, finished on January 21, Wilson said.
A layer of asphalt would be placed once it had been bedded down and all the other stages were completed. Either stage two, which entailed laying structured asphalt on the roundabout by the Z petrol station, or stage three would then start. Stage three consisted of pavement rehabilitation from Meura St down to the Burwood Rd roundabout and would be completed by mid-February.
Matamata-Piako District Council CEO Don McLeod, Mayor Jan Barnes, NZTA regional advisor Janene Moodie and transport agency representative Harry Wilson are confident that the Broadway roadworks have little disruption to tourist visits and local businesses.