A notoriously dusty road west of Whangārei has finally been fully sealed after 15 years of lobbying.

Resident and long-time campaigner Alex Wright said the final section of sealing on Wright Rd was completed last Tuesday.

"It's absolutely fantastic to finally have our road sealed. It's been a long time coming."

Communication with the Whangārei District Council over the dusty road started in 2004
when log trucks started travelling through and stirring up dust clouds.

Advertisement
Alex Wright (centre) celebrates the sealing of Wright Rd with supporters (from left) Maselusi Luamanuvae, John Luisi, Huriata Rhind and Puti Tipene. Photo / John Stone
Alex Wright (centre) celebrates the sealing of Wright Rd with supporters (from left) Maselusi Luamanuvae, John Luisi, Huriata Rhind and Puti Tipene. Photo / John Stone

In 2015 the council sealed 10 strips of 100m outside properties on Wright, McCardle and Pipiwai Rds. Those strips were extended in 2017.

The council adopted its 2018 -2028 Long Term Plan last year which included $1 million-plus inflation a year for seal extensions. At the time it said Wright Rd was the first priority.

Even with that announcement, Wright was cautious and said she wouldn't be counting her chickens just yet, but she would "definitely be shouting from the rooftops when it's all done".

Now, she said, she can shout from the rooftops.

Work on the remaining 4km started in October.

"As they started doing them, I had to pinch myself and blink a few times."

She knew contractors were working on the last section and she had recently been keeping an eye on it.

Wright drove along the road last Wednesday and said it was a "truly momentous occasion" to have the 7.5km road fully and completely sealed.

Advertisement

"In my eyes, it is an unbelievable experience to have actually achieved this milestone."

McCardle Rd is also completely sealed.

Wright said it meant no more dust, no more logging trucks driving in the middle of the road and she hoped a precedent for other unsealed roads in Whangārei.

The end to the dust was not only good for the residents' health, it also meant no more "whiteout conditions" as had been experienced when driving along the road in the past.

"Through this whole campaign and process, it's been a team effort, a community-spirited effort to get where we've finally come."

The dusty road campaign saw a hikoi in 2014, hundreds of emails, countless meetings on marae and at the council, an invitation for NZ First leader Winston Peters to travel on the school bus in February 2016, and submissions to the Whangārei District Council's Annual Plan and Long Term Plan and the Northland Regional Council's Regional Land Transport Plan.

Wright thanked the contractors who carried out the work, Broadspectrum and Fulton Hogan, and Whangārei District Council roading manager Jeff Devine, who she has been communicating with since 2004.

She said Devine had "really probably stepped up in the last couple of years to make it all happen".

The road markings on the recently sealed sections are yet to be painted, but Wright said that usually happens around a week after sealing has finished.