Road development concerns retailers

The need for communication over a multimillion-dollar road safety improvement project in central Oamaru has been emphasised to New Zealand Transport Agency representatives.

Tenders have been called for the project, estimated to cost about $3.1 million, and will close on August 19.

At a meeting called by retailers on Thursday night, Dick Cottier said retailers wanted communication about when the work was going to be done because it was going into the busiest time of year.

While the main issue was the loss of centre parks, the other issue was the disruption to businesses and he wanted to know what was going to be done to make sure businesses were not going to be detrimentally affected like retailers in Ribble St, where there had been recent roadworks.

NZTA regional projects manager Simon Underwood said the work could not be done without disruption.

The contract period - Sep-tember to April - did not mean continued disruption in the same spot.

There would be a stand-down period over Christmas, from December 12 to January 5.

Warren Prescott asked if there was any possibility of working two shifts over a 24-hour period, but Mr Underwood said he did not perceive a need to work 24 hours.

Driving instructor Ian Rowell said if trucks were removed from the main street, there would no longer be a problem.

Mr Underwood said 60% of the traffic on Thames St was local and about half the heavy traffic was local.

If there was a loss of car parks, Jim Hopley hoped there would be stringent monitoring of parks so people could get to businesses, rather than people parking all day.

Waitaki district councillor Alistair Mavor thought that was something the council would address.


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