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A volunteer firefighter drove the ambulance back to Palmerston from the crash scene and a rescue helicopter took the two accident victims to hospital.
Andy Denham, who lives and farms on Taieri Peak Rd, said nothing had been done to improve the road in the last 12 months. There were "potholes the size of craters" on the road, Palmerston Volunteer Fire Brigade Chief Fire Officer Gary Johnston said this week. Thousands of dollars were being paid in rates by the four farming families living near the top of Taieri Peak Rd, Waitaki district councillor for the Waihemo ward, Jan Wheeler, said.
The families deserved better than a seldom-graded road with clay close to the surface, she said.
Grading of Taieri Peak Rd had deteriorated from once every six weeks when Whitestone Contracting held the contract to four times in four years by the present contractor, South Roads, Mr Denham told this week’s public forum of the Waihemo Community Board in Palmerston. Instead of being able to travel at up to 50kmh on Taieri Peak Rd it was now necessary to slow to 5kmh to 10kmh on sections of the road, he said. The road is also being used by logging trucks taking timber from a forestry site to Palmerston.
Costs of roading work had gone up, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said at the Waihemo Community Board meeting. Money should be allocated to fix the potholes, board chairwoman Kathy Dennison said.
Mr Denham said when Whitestone Contracting managed the roads, limestone aggregate from the Dunback lime works had been used.
In recent times other inferior products had been used that had not lasted or were that sharp they punctured vehicle tyres. He had negotiated a price for lime aggregate on the council’s behalf with the Dunback lime works for $8 to $10 a tonne, a good price. He forwarded his findings to Waitaki District Council roading manager Michael Voss but nothing had happened, Mr Denham said.
The Waihemo Community Board should approach local farmers to see if any farmers in the area could supply gravel from their properties to improve the roads in the area, Waitaki District councillor Hugh Perkins said at the community board meeting.
A grader had been sent to the Waihemo area to start work on the roads, Mr Voss said on Tuesday.
He added comment was being sought from ratepayers on roading improvements in the Waitaki district. Suggestions for roading improvements should be submitted to the Waitaki District Council by today.