These rumble strips installed on Wanaka's Riverbank Rd six
weeks ago as an interim traffic-slowing solution have been
destroyed by braking trucks. Stronger replacement strips
are being installed this week. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Riverbank Rd in Wanaka was the victim of a rumble strip
''cock-up'' reminiscent of Cardrona's disastrous
traffic-slowing devices, community board member Bryan Lloyd
Mr Lloyd was discussing the badly damaged chip seal rumble
strips installed on Riverbank Rd six weeks ago by the
Queenstown Lakes District Council to warn motorists to slow
down when approaching the Ballantyne Rd intersection.
Their installation was in response to concerns raised with
the Wanaka Community Board in March by Ballantyne Rd
residents John Wellington and Julie Jones, who said motorists
regularly failed to give way at the intersection and a
serious accident was inevitable.
The rumble strips were suggested as an interim safety measure
until the intersection could be completely redesigned.
At yesterday's community board meeting, chairwoman Rachel
Brown said the rumble strips had ''failed'' due to a
combination of weather conditions and air brakes on large
vehicles ''ripping them up''.
Board member Ross McRobie said the matter should be treated
with ''some urgency'', while Mr Lloyd said the exercise had
been ''a cock-up like Cardrona was and I always thought if
you made a cock-up, you fix it quickly''.
Mr Lloyd was referring to the council's costly mistake at
Cardrona last year, where $50,000 rumble strips at either end
of the village had to be removed a month after installation
because they were a safety hazard for cyclists and
''The decision [to install rumble strips on Riverbank Rd] was
made quickly, presumably because it's a danger area, and
obviously there was a mess made and it should be fixed,'' Mr
Ms Brown said the board had committed to improving safety at
the intersection and she had the assurance of council
engineers that the rumble strips would be reinstalled as soon
as the contractor was available.
When the Otago Daily Times visited Riverbank Rd
yesterday afternoon, council contractors were already on site
removing the ruined strips and replacing them with ones which
had better adhesive qualities.
QLDC chief engineer Ulrich Glasner said the work would be
completed within the next couple of days and it was likely
additional rumble strips would be installed further back from
the intersection in four to six weeks, depending on how the
first lot of replacements performed.
However, the strips remained a temporary measure until a
longer-lasting solution could be found.
One permanent option being considered was cutting into the
asphalt to create the desired rumble effect, rather than
adding something on top of its surface.
''We are experimenting a little bit with product and what
will be the best for the environment,'' Mr Glasner said.
Alternative traffic-slowing solutions discussed by the
community board yesterday included photovoltaic road marking
technology, illuminated signage and one tongue-in-cheek
suggestion to resite the ill-fated Cardrona rumble strips.