Get road fixed - board

The Mosgiel-Taieri Community Board has again urged the Dunedin City Council to get on with improving Riccarton Rd, saying it is even more of a priority now the council has agreed to allow 50-tonne trucks on local roads.

The board made the plea in its submission to the Dunedin City Council on its 2014-15 draft annual plan.

The only other subject the board submitted on was

the new Mosgiel Pool project. The council plans to widen and strengthen Riccarton Rd to improve its safety, and is working through land purchases to that end.

The board's urging comes despite members receiving an email from former board member Brian Miller, a resident of Riccarton Rd, asking them not to support the council's continued work on the road.

Mr Miller is one of four landowners along the stretch who have declined to sell part of their land to the council for the project.

He says the council's offer to him was unacceptable given the negative effects the project would cause to his business and the value of his property, and he was refusing to take part in any further negotiations.

He told board members it was their choice to support the upgrade of the road, which would close his business, or choose to disassociate itself.

However, board chairman Bill Feather said the board had urged the council for the past several years to get on with upgrading Riccarton Rd and would continue to do so given the safety concerns about the road's present condition were a serious issue for the community.

He said the board had no comment to make about Mr Miller.

Council roading projects engineer Evan Matheson said the council intended to do the widening work in stages, starting from the School Rd/Outram end, with construction of the first stretch due to be done by mid-2015.

The project was running behind schedule because of the need to complete land negotiations.

The property owners still not making their land available had land on the stretch between Bush Rd and Gladstone Rd, which did not prevent the council from starting the first stage of the work, he said.

Staff were still trying to work with the landowners unwilling to sell at this stage; there were still about six to seven years before that section of the road was scheduled for an upgrade.

If negotiations ultimately failed, the council could use powers available under the Public Works Act to take the land from landowners, but it was ''not even close'' to considering that, Mr Matheson said.

The board's submission on the council's next annual budget said the board was concerned the proposed work was not proceeding within the timeframes previously announced.

''The recently announced amendments to commercial vehicle weight limits we see intensifying the concern of road user safety over this and other roads across the Taieri.

''The board urges more urgency be given to completing this road enhancement programme.''

The road is mostly used by cars, with about 6% usage by heavy vehicles skirting around Mosgiel.

It was a popular road and required upgrading for safety.

Mr Matheson said the council would not be promoting the upgraded road as a heavy traffic bypass.

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