by Al Williams
Maintenance work is continuing on a lakeside section of road in Tekapo in danger of becoming impassable because of a lack of upkeep, due to funding shortfalls.
Lilybank Rd connects Tekapo township to the northern end of the lake via Roundhill skifield, Lilybank Station and Mt Gerald Station.
Mackenzie District Council roading manager Suzy Ratahi told The Courier in May 2015 the council had opted to do nothing to repair a rough section of the road because funding was unavailable.
Some work on high-risk sections might be undertaken in the 2015-16 financial year when the budget allowed, she said at the time.
In January 2016, she confirmed upgrade work was scheduled for the area.
She had attributed the problem to the stretching of budgets due to the NZ Transport Agency’s limited funding pool.
Money had been directed to areas with greater traffic, she said.
Last week, Mackenzie District Council asset manager Bernie Haar confirmed maintenance work had been carried out recently along Lilybank Rd as “the big test will be once the skifield opens with traffic volumes of 500 vehicles per day travelling at speed over it”.
Material had been carted from Clayton Station to try to bind roading material from the shoulders by mixing the materials with a grader, laying it across the road and then compacting it, Mr Haar said.
“With this material breaking down naturally over time, as shown with our other rock sites, and the material being somewhat self-healing, we are hoping to see very good results post winter with reduced maintenance,” he said.