North Shore Times : February 3rd 2011
www.northshoretimes.co.nz Thursday, February 3, 2011 'An absolute joke' By LISA HONEYBONE Frustrated: Lake Rd business owner and resident Donald Melville wants to know why roadworks are taking so long. Watch: Go to www.north shoretimes.co.nz to hear Donald Melville talk about his frustration. CONTINUED Page 2 A BUSINESS owner is becoming more and more frustrated as the Lake Rd upgrade project starts to affect his income. Donald Melville has had his antique shop on the cor- ner of Lake Rd and Cameron St in Takapuna since 1973. He isn't against change but wants to know why the proj- ect is taking so long. The speed of it is chronically slow and I can't see the reason why,'' Mr Mel- ville says. He has customers visit him from all over Auckland but lately they haven't bothered coming because they are avoiding the traffic conges- tion. This drastically affects his business and the roadworks are having an effect on every- one, he says. It's becoming an absolute joke for everybody,'' Mr Mel- ville says. There was traffic chaos in Takapuna last Thursday as road closures brought peak hour traffic to a standstill. Auckland Transport man- ager external communi- cations Sharon Hunter says the project is on track for completion in the middle of this year. Takapuna Beach Business Association general manager Peter White says the traffic mayhem caused by the road- works is damaging Taka- puna's retail sector. Mr White says the grid- locks have hit retailers hard, aggravating what have already been tough trading times. Some couldn't open up their shops last Thursday because they were stuck in the traffic and others were late to work. What happened was a huge disappointment and it's impacting on the local econ- omy,'' he says. Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman Chris Darby says Auckland Transport has failed in its handling of the project. People are extremely upset,'' he says. Before undertaking a big project like this the social and economic costs also need to be considered, Mr Darby says. If you rely on your car to get to work then the social upheaval of not getting there has a flow-on economic impact,'' he says. Upgrade adds cycle lanes The $8 million upgrade of Lake Rd between Napier Ave and Jutland Rd was initiated by the North Shore City Council, which was dissolved last year. The project started in early 2010, with Fulton Hogan as contractor. It involves undergrounding of power lines and road widening to make room for two traffic lanes and a cycle lane on each direction. Each traffic lane will be widened to a three metre- width and there will be continuous flush medians, indented bus bays, im- proved stormwater, new road surface, landscaping and an urban plaza park at the corner of Hauraki and Lake roads.
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