Rebuilt underpass back in use

SONIA BEAL
Last updated 07:12 05/11/2012
Underpass
Safe again: Contractors have completed most of the repair work on an underpass in Seddon washed out after heavy rain in August.

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Pupils at Seddon School can once again use an underpass to avoid walking along State Highway 1 or running over railway lines on their way to and from school.

An underpass provides pedestrian access under the highway and the railway line in Seddon. The section under the highway was washed out when Starborough Creek flooded in August after torrential rain.

Pedestrians had to walk alongside the highway, and some risked walking across the railway line.

Many parents ended up driving their children to school to keep them safe.

Marlborough roads general manager Frank Porter said the underpass was reopened on Tuesday last week.

HEB Construction contractors rebuilt the foundation and footpath and put in a handrail, ensuring that it was more user-friendly than before the washout.

Parents had previously expressed concern about the steepness and poor lighting in the underpass, and this had been taken into consideration during the week-long upgrade, Mr Porter said.

While the lighting had yet to be arranged, the path was a suitable gradient for all pedestrians, he said. "It's now flat enough to be suitable for mobility devices, prams and pushchairs."

Signs pointing to the underpass had also been put up at each end and a stormwater drain was on the way.

School principal Tania Pringle was mostly pleased with the changes.

"There's still room for improvement, but it's much better than what it was," she said.

Parents had also given positive feedback about the underpass, saying it was much more open and spacious.

"They haven't put in any lighting, but the fact that it's so spacious and it's not a long dark tunnel makes it feel a lot safer for the kids."

Half the school roll of 110 pupils used the highway underpass.

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- The Marlborough Express

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