Roadworks hit local business

By Kyra Dawson

1 comment
Roadworks on Lake Rd. Photo / Stephen Parker
Roadworks on Lake Rd. Photo / Stephen Parker

Businesses on Lake Rd say they are losing money due to ongoing roadworks, with one cafe owner saying it's costing them up to $1000 a day.

However, the Rotorua Lakes Council says it's work that has to be done.

The roadworks - on Lake Rd between Ranolf St and Rangiuru St - have been going on since February 12 and were started because the road's structural pavements had essentially failed and maintenance costs had increased to an unsustainable level.

The project is 51 per cent funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency with the rest of the cost made up by the council.

Stavros Michael, the council's director of transport and waste solutions, said after this weekend there would be a two to four-week standdown period and then the final asphalt seal would be completed.

"The first coat seal is planned for this weekend, but is subject to weather. A final asphalt seal will be two to four weeks after that. This standdown period is required to let the first seal coat to cure, but the road will be able to be used normally."

He said the purpose of the roadworks was to improve the road as the road pavement, the structural part under the seal coat, had failed, and was in need of strengthening.

"The failed pavement was obvious with the number of cracks and patching that had taken place and water ingress was causing further deterioration."

Fiona Withers, owner of Third Place cafe, said the roadworks had had a bad impact on business.

For the majority of the time there has been one-way traffic only on the road, forcing drivers to go all the way around the block to get to the cafe, as well as other businesses.

"It's been just over four weeks and it's had major impacts on us. It's lost us up to $1000 some days.

"What's saved us is our carpark, without that we would have had to close for two months.

"We have just got to look forward to the new road that's going to come eventually.

"We have been so surprised by our loyal customers and very thankful to them for making the effort to come.

"It's clearly not easy."

Kamalpreet Kaur, manager of The Fish & Chip Shop, said her shop had been open every day despite not having many customers.

"The business has been going really slow. They [workers] are taking a long time, it's been four weeks already."

She said the shop had lost so much the boss had to pay the rent from his own pocket, but they wouldn't close because their regular customers expected them to be there.

Heather Smyth, shop assistant at Pomare Electrical, said the roadworks had made business a lot quieter.

"The dust has been everywhere, we have to keep the windows shut to stop it from getting throughout the shop."

Lake Rd resident Mericia Waqanimaravu said any road works was inconvenient but people just had to live with it.

She said the biggest impact had been driving home from work because she had to go around the block which added an extra 10 to 15 minutes, depending on traffic.

"The dust isn't the best either ... but they have started watering the road now so that is getting better.

"Once it's open and done it's going to be a nice easy road."

- Rotorua Daily Post

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