Wrong place, wrong size, and dangerous

03:39, Jun 18 2014
Roadworks resume: The new roundabout at the intersection of Victoria Ave and College St in Palmerston North has to be rebuilt.

Just when it looked like it was safe for road users to return to the intersection of Victoria Ave and College St in Palmerston North, another batch of roadworks is about to start at the new roundabout.

The roundabout is too small, in the wrong place, and posing dangers for cyclists in particular.

Palmerston North City Council roading manager Graeme Tong said shortly after work finished and speed restrictions were lifted, safety concerns had been flagged.

It appeared the $245,000 project did not measure up to its design specifications, and that would have to be fixed.

The council has reimposed 30kmh speed restrictions to improve safety until a permanent solution is in place.

Tong said the central traffic island was too small, and set off to one side.


The effect was that motorists travelling down the avenue did not have to turn around the roundabout as much as the design intended, and the relatively straight route meant they did not slow down to the extent expected.

An extra problem was that the traffic island on Victoria Ave travelling north from Te Awe Awe St had been built in the wrong place, creating a pinch point for cyclists and vehicles.

"We became aware of the situation after cyclists raised concerns after it was built," said Tong.

"A surveyor was deployed, and issues were confirmed."

The contract for the intersection works was let to Chris Gommans Contracting in February.

Installation of a roundabout had been requested by Horizons Regional Council to make it easier for buses to cross Victoria Ave travelling toward the city, especially in the mornings.

Tong said the council and contractor were planning to make improvements to the intersection to ensure it was safe for all road users.

"Unfortunately, this will mean more disruption," he said. "I understand and appreciate the frustration this will cause, however, we need to have the mistake corrected."

The total cost of reconstruction was expected to be in the vicinity of $35,000. The council was discussing responsibility for the costs with the contractor.

Manawatu Standard