Tight corners on road due for work

Improvements to tight corners on George King Memorial Dr may get on to the Dunedin City Council's 2014-15 safety work programme, but their place on the priority list has yet to be determined.

Strath-Taieri community board member Russell Anderson, of Hindon, has been pushing for improvements to the narrow, winding road for 15 years.

He believes several corners need to be widened to allow traffic, including many large stock trucks that use the road, to negotiate them safely.

The latest news some work would be on the safety work programme was good, but did not take the project much further, he said, especially when it was competing with projects in central Dunedin.

''I've been hearing the same thing for years. Why don't they just get in there and widen the road?''

After appealing to the council through the annual plan process for three years, Mr Anderson took council roading staff on a tour of the road in September, during which the experts assessed what would need to be done to improve sight-lines at the corners.

The staff are working on the road safety programme for 2014-15, including

where on the list of priorities George King Memorial Dr will be. The result should be know by mid to late January.

DCC project engineer Evan Matheson said there were four corners of concern within the narrow, winding 2km stretch either side of Lee Stream, starting about 9km west of Outram.

Work would involve improving sight lines around the corners, widening one corner by about 1m and resurfacing at one site.

He said staff were well aware truck and trailer units took up most of the road in places, which was ''sometimes the nature of an old original road like that''.

''The other thing we're well aware of is that that section of road is quite unstable.

"The country is made up of a lot of fractured rock and the road is prone to slumping, so we're limited [with] major work because it could trigger something quite catastrophic, so we're certainly fairly cautious because of the land stability.''

But Mr Anderson said that should not be an excuse with the machinery available these days.

Helping motorists to see oncoming traffic would at least improve safety in the meantime.

The estimated cost of the work was about $100,000.

''It's just over to us to now to fit it into the programme.''

Work was prioritised based on a range of factors, including the traffic volume on the road and the level of risk.

The council tried to be ''fairly even handed'' about prioritising, but he could not commit to when the work would happen.

''I'm comfortable with saying it will go on to the priority list and will stay there, but whether it progresses to the top of the priority list quickly or not is a bit of an unknown at this stage.

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