Safety first at troubled spot

Work will begin as soon as the rain clears to rebuild a Palmerston North roundabout at the intersection of Victoria Ave and College St.

The $245,000 project had been completed about two weeks ago, but as soon as speed restrictions were lifted, cyclists complained to the city council that it was not safe.

Council roading manager Graeme Tong said a surveyor inspection confirmed it was not performing as intended, and the speed restrictions were put back in place while the council, contractors and designer worked out how to fix the problems.

The central traffic island was smaller than designed, and offset to one side. The effect was that motorists were not slowed to the extent anticipated to ensure the safety of all users, particularly cyclists.

Another issue was that the island on Victoria Ave, for traffic travelling north from Te Awe Awe St, was also constructed in the wrong place, creating a pinch point for cyclists and vehicles.

Tong said the council and Chris Gommans Contracting had investigated and found several things that caused the issues.

Both parties had agreed on solutions and a way of sharing the additional costs of the extra work.

About half of the concrete apron on the central roundabout will be removed and it will be reconstructed in a larger shape.

That part of the work would cost about $28,000, with the council's designer contributing $10,000.

The "splitter" island in Victoria Ave on the Te Awe Awe St side will be removed and reconstructed at an estimated cost of $4000, which will be paid for by the council as the initial set-out points were in the wrong place.

Tong said the council usually builds a couple of roundabouts every year, and this was the first time such issues had occurred.

"As a result, process changes will be made to ensure this won't happen again," he said.

Chris Gommans Contracting contract manager Adam Liverton said the experience was disappointing for all concerned.

He said public safety was paramount, and he was pleased that would be resolved.

Manawatu Standard