Residents angry over roadworks safety issues
Fed-up residents have called time on longstanding roadworks on Bussell Highway, arguing ongoing safety issues could result in someone getting killed if urgent action isn’t taken.
But the developers of the Margaret River Lifestyle Village say they are unfairly copping flak for ongoing problems caused by a second job outside Rapids Landing overseen by Main Roads WA.
Village developer Bradley Moore said working with Main Roads and the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River had been “difficult” in a climate in which Bussell Highway would soon become a Shire road — after the perimeter road and John Archibald Drive open — and the authorities were handballing costs to developers. “It’s a Main Roads road,” he said. “Main Roads isn’t going to pay for it. The Shire’s not going to pay for it.
“Process is always more important (to the Shire) than outcomes.”
Potholes were a problem, made more difficult by standards forced on developers by MRWA but some of those standards didn’t suit local road and weather conditions, Mr Moore said.
The adjacent Rapids Landing roadworks catering to the new primary school should have been car-
ried out “five years ago” and were an unrelated project, he said.
Numerous residents said ongoing work, obscured white lines, the presence of work crews, changing road markers, potholes, wintry weather and the 80km/h speed limit were a recipe for a fatal accident.
Some residents alerted Worksafe to the issue, but the agency said it did not inspect roads, only unsafe workplace practices. Residents were also angered by “handballing” of their complaints from MRWA.
Brookfield resident John Lawson said he had had several close calls on the stretch. “It’s bloody dangerous,” he said. “We put up with months of traffic disruption and it was very poorly handled.
“The next thing we know they’re tearing it up again, and that’s no good either.” Mr Lawson said when the lifestyle village opened, the road would have even more traffic and he feared a fatal accident.
Taz’s Taxis operator Rob Simons said the road was “a disgrace” and also lodged a formal complaint.
Just before deadline, MRWA told the Times it was aware of the complaints, but “the developers will be responsible for correcting any issues identified during these inspections”. “Main Roads inspec- tors have been on site, in both the morning and evening, to review the pavement and markings,” spokesman Dean Roberts said.
“Main Roads are also working with the developers of the lifestyle village and the Rapids Landing development to reinstate street lighting in the area.
“Maintenance works will be undertaken on this section of Bussell Highway as required. It is an- ticipated that permanent repairs will be completed in the summer of 2018-19.”
Despite the MRWA response, Mr Lawson said it “wasn’t good enough”.
“(Main Roads) are in charge of this major road with all sorts of people, some going as far as Augusta,” he said.
The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River did not respond to inquiries before press deadline.