A $64,000 traffic island recently built on Welcome Bay Rd was ripped up yesterday after a design error left the road too narrow.

A number of concerned residents contacted the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday to express their anger over the costly mistake.

The traffic island had been put in outside the Welcome Bay Primary School this month as a safety initiative - but concerns were raised that it did not leave enough space for the existing car parks outside the school.

The council yesterday confirmed the island was being corrected, at an extra cost of about $12,000 which brought the project up to a total $76,000.


"The project is a safety initiative that council has been working on with the school in conjunction with our Travel Safe programme," council communications advisor Marcel Currin said.

"The original brief was correct but the car parking facility was overlooked in the design and its subsequent approval, so council is negotiating with the consultant to share the additional costs."

The project would be finished before school resumed on February 2.

Work began yesterday on ripping up the new island to make way for a narrower island to replace it, Welcome Bay Primary School principal Nik House said.

"The median strip has been made too wide so they're pulling it up and putting in a smaller median so the road will accommodate for traffic as well as car parks and a cycle lane."

The school had been talking to Tauranga City Council for a number of years about getting a traffic island outside the school for safety reasons, he said.

The council had been very helpful in listening but the school was not consulted on the final design, he said.

The wide island was put in from the intersection with Village Park Drive, down the hill past the school.


"The other day we had some concerns about how narrow the road was on this school side." The plan was to have space on the school side of the island for a road lane, a cycle lane, as well as the existing car parks, he said.

The council responded straight away when he brought the issue to their attention and work began to fix the island within two days of Mr House's phone call.

Several Welcome Bay residents contacted the Bay of Plenty Times yesterday concerned to see the island being destroyed only days after completion.

Robin Van Niekerk of Waikite Rd wondered if the cost of the "complete stuff up" would fall on ratepayers to cover.

"The whole of last week they put in all this expense in directing traffic and putting in this magnificent island ... only to find today that they've dug the whole thing up.

"Why must we go through this whole thing again ... and the biggest thing is is who is paying for all of this?"

Clive Morrow of Homestead Place was shocked to see contractors ripping up the island yesterday.

"What a waste. They've got diggers there and front end loaders and they are ripping it up again.

"That's ratepayer money. It's just unbelievable."

Welcome Bay local Gerald Krohn said it was ridiculous to see what he understood to be taxpayer money "going down the tubes".

"It's particularly upsetting because a lot of money's gone into that."

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