Firth St re­pairs ‘typ­i­cal’ of pri­or­i­ties

Matamata Chronicle - - Out & About - ABBY BROWN

Mata­mata busi­ness­men have ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment in Firth St’s $90,000 re­pair job. The owner of Cooper Tyres, Robert Maca­ree, whose busi­ness is lo­cated on Firth St, said the re­pairs were typ­i­cal of a govern­ment depart­ment’s value of ru­ral roads.

‘‘They have dif­fer­ent pri­or­i­ties for dif­fer­ent ar­eas,’’ he said of the NZ Trans­port Agency, who or­gan­ised the con­trac­tors to re­pair the road.

‘‘If we were in Auck­land it would be all good but ru­ral New Zealand doesn’t get a look in.’’

In­stead of re­ally re­pair­ing the road, by dig­ging it out by eight feet and re­build­ing the base, the trans­port agency’s con­trac­tors laid two inches of as­phalt over the pot­holes, he said, and the road was al­ready curv­ing un­der the heavy traf­fic.

He got the im­pres­sion from the trans­port agency’s let­ter, which all Firth St busi­nesses re­ceived, that the re­pairs were go­ing to be more than sur­face-deep.

Bryce Hen­der­son thought the same.

‘‘They prob­a­bly had a dig, re­alised it would cost too much and put it in the too-hard-bas­ket, and de­cided to put a bit of base down that would last six months.’’

The me­chanic, who is based at the Te Poi ser­vice sta­tion, avoided the street where pos­si­ble be­cause of the ‘‘headache’’ it caused him.

‘‘They have prob­a­bly done the best they can but how the hell can they fix it when it they have thou­sands of cars and heavy trucks go­ing down it.’’

The trans­port agency’s act­ing re­gional per­for­mance man­ager Mercedes Santos said the agency was ‘‘con­fi­dent the fin­ished job will last many years, with only oc­ca­sional pro­grammed main­te­nance’’.

The agency said the Firth St work cost just over $90,000 for the rut fill.

She said re­pairs to Broad­way re­sumed again on Fe­bru­ary 9 af­ter tech­ni­cal is­sues saw the pro­ject halted for two weeks. From Mon­day Fe­bru­ary 15 they would seal and lay the fi­nal as­phalt at the SH24/27 and Arawa St round­abouts and put the fi­nal as­phalt sur­face through the main sec­tion of Broad­way St, from the iSite to Meura St, and re­move old as­phalt at the Bur­wood St round­about and patch dam­aged pave­ment there.

The struc­tural as­phalt work from iSite to the SH24/27 round­about would be done un­der a sep­a­rate con­tract.

PHOTO: ABBY BROWN / FAIRFAX NZ

The owner of Cooper Tyres, Robert Maca­ree, whose busi­ness is lo­cated on Firth St, said the road was all ready curv­ing un­der the heavy traf­fic.

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