Blunder affecting businesses

The narrow pathway left for people to get to Alta, in Queenstown, as a result of a roadworks...
The narrow pathway left for people to get to Alta, in Queenstown, as a result of a roadworks error at the intersection of Duke and Shotover Sts. PHOTO: OLIVIA JUDD
Queenstown's latest roadworks blunder is affecting local businesses.

Last April, pavers and a vehicle ramp were put in at the intersection of Duke and Shotover Sts as part of the Queenstown Lakes District Council’s (QLDC) town centre street upgrade project, which is working to provide a continuous link from the Queenstown Gardens to the gondola.

However, the work completed by Kā Huanui a Tāhuna (The Alliance) — a collaboration between the QLDC, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi, Beca, WSP, Downer New Zealand and Fulton Hogan — did not result in the ramp being installed properly.

The vehicle ramp was installed at an incorrect gradient, so the steepness of the ramp means buses often scrape the surface driving over it.

The mistake comes with a price tag of $100,000 as The Alliance will have to reinstall the ramp, and remove about 20sq m of stone pavers from the road.

The work means the road is closed to traffic and fencing has made it difficult for pedestrians to access local businesses bordering the work site.

One business feeling the effect of it is Alta, a mountainbike and snowsports store which faces the roadworks.

Shop owner Aaron Fernandez said business in his shop had been affected as the fencing from the work had left only a narrow pathway for people to access his shop.

"The council could have considered the impact on local businesses more," Mr Fernandez said.

"Even waiting till the school holidays were over to start the works would have helped us out."

Bella Cucina, an Italian restaurant which is also opposite the roadworks, usually has several outdoor seating options. A waitress at the restaurant, Katie Burge, said the work had meant most of the outdoor seating, which usually drew customers in, had been removed.

"Having to go through it all for a second time is really frustrating. We were definitely less busy last time and I can see the same thing happening again."

Vertigo Bikes has also been quieter than normal because of the roadworks.

Shop manager Paul Angus said the shop’s doors had had to be closed because of noise, which made the shop look shut to many people.

The QLDC said the roadworks were expected to finish on May 6.