Drive to reopen for vehicles

Bollards on John Wilson Ocean Drive.
Bollards on John Wilson Ocean Drive.
John Wilson Ocean Dr should be reopened to vehicles within the next month.

The long-running seesawing saga of whether to reopen the road to vehicles will finally reach some resolution as Dunedin City Council contractors prepare to lay a chip seal on the closed stretch of road, then paint on the road markings.

City councillors decided at their final council meeting last year to spend $80,000 to reseal the road so it can be reopened to vehicles between 11am and 3pm on weekdays.

A seaward-side section of the road will be reserved for cyclists and pedestrians.

The speed limit will be 50kmh in the interim, with a review a few months after opening.

The road was closed temporarily six years ago for the period of construction for an extended sewage outfall pipe.

Public debate and councillor indecision about reopening it to vehicles raged after deaths in the area were noticeably reduced while it was closed. The road became popular for walking, cycling and exercising dogs.

Those keen to drive on the road said exclusive non-vehicle access was unfair to the elderly or disabled.

Council roading project engineer Evan Matheson said the road would be sealed and marked before the end of January.

Parks manager Lisa Wheeler said it would then a matter of deciding when the council's security company would start daily moving and replacing bollards, to control vehicle access.

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