Mt Albert locals are upset that their footpaths, replaced only months ago, have been ripped up again for an undergrounding project, creating an eyesore.
The footpaths on Newcastle Terrace and other nearby streets were replaced by the Auckland Council fewer than eight months ago, local resident Michael Tucker said.
"They were really, really old footpaths so we were stoked that the streets around us got new footpaths because they were getting really dangerous."
But only a few months later the walkways were once again shredded up as construction for the Mt Albert Undergrounding Project began, replacing overhead power and communications cables with underground cables.
"They've just gone and spent tens of thousands on the footpaths and then ripping them all up and taking them back to worse than they were before."
"I think that the council and Vector should talk," Tucker said.
"If the council is putting in new footpaths and they know Vector are about to rip them up again, shouldn't they just wait to put in the new footpaths?"
"I'm all for progress and undergrounding the power, but what I'm having a quibble at is the [lack of] communication between the two entities and just a big waste of money."
Tucker said his reaction was echoed by Newcastle Terrace residents, who couldn't believe the state the footpaths were left in.
"One poor old lady was out there tonight, trying to make it look good by sweeping it and hosing it," he said.
"There's no other word for it, apart from 'shoddy'".
The recently renovated footpaths' uneven surface has made them more dangerous than they were before the council fixed them, Tucker said.
"It's been done terribly; it's bumpy all the way through," he said.
"There's lots of kids and elderly in this neighbourhood."
He said he'd like to see the footpaths up to the same standard the council left them.
"The paths were all brand new and finally safe again and the neighbourhood had been finally spruced up for once," he said.
"It's one of the more neglected neighbourhoods.
"I respect what they're trying to do. The progress that they're making towards power underground is good, but doing it in professional manner would be good too."
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A Vector spokesman said the company had several discussions with Auckland Transport about the planned works and were able to upgrade street lighting in the area alongside undergrounding work.
"Vector looks to co-ordinate works with other infrastructure services where possible to minimise disruption for residents and increase efficiencies around traffic management and civil works."
He said the volcanic rock in the area forced Vector workers to dig trenches through the hard rock, rather than the less disruptive method of tunnelling using directional drilling and thrusting methods.
In some cases this has meant first cutting through existing footpaths, he said.
Vector will fully reinstate trenched footpaths with new paths matching the original surface as each stage of the project is completed.
"The temporary sealing [black bitumen] we've laid is used to cover the new cabling until all connections are complete and final reinstatement can be done."
Vector was working alongside Chorus to lay ducts for fibre cables underground, as well as with Auckland Transport to support integrating planned capital works projects into a shared online resource, he said.