Solution found ... in a roundabout way

By John Maslin

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SIMPLE FIX: A small roundabout will soon go in at the intersection of Rangitikei St and Kitchener St to slow heavy traffic using Rangitikei St.PHOTO/ STUART MUNRO
SIMPLE FIX: A small roundabout will soon go in at the intersection of Rangitikei St and Kitchener St to slow heavy traffic using Rangitikei St.PHOTO/ STUART MUNRO

Community feedback has delivered a creative option to slow down heavy trucks using Rangitikei St in Whanganui East.

A small roundabout is going to be installed at the intersection of Rangitikei St and Kitchener St. Council engineers believe this, and give way signs at the intersection will slow traffic and dampen the vibrations.

Logging trucks have been using the street as a route from SH4 to the new log depot set up next to the Eastown rail siding. But in May last year street residents petitioned Whanganui District Council complaining about excessive vibrations and wanted heavy trucks barred.

Engineering tests subsequently found the road foundation was inadequate which meant houses along the street felt the vibrations when trucks drove past. But the locals also said vibration from passing trains was worse.

The council flagged an alternative route, directing trucks off SH4 onto Kaimatira Rd, into No 3 Line then Eastown Rd before turning into the depot.

But this prompted a strong reaction from both residents along that route as well as logging companies and transporters.

That is when the council asked locals for their opinion.

Rui Leitao, the council's senior roading engineer, said a rebuild of Rangitikei St would cost more than $1 million while putting a speed restriction in place was not an option "because people tended to ignore those".

He said the compromise was a roundabout at the intersection and the give way signs.

A roundabout would cost about $65,000 and would be eligible for 64 per cent subsidy from NZ Transport Agency.

"This is a cheaper alternative to overcome a problem," Mr Leitao said.

He said the roundabout would not be difficult for heavy trucks to negotiate but the key was the Give Way signs, he added.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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