Delays a headache for businesses

JODY O'CALLAGHAN
Last updated 05:00 25/07/2013
Johns Rd
DAVID HALLETT/ Fairfax NZ
NOT HAPPY: Airpark Canterbury business development manager Phil Garrett is angry at ‘‘incompetent’’ delays in opening the section of McLeans Island Rd between Logistics Drive and Johns Rd.

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Continuous delays in opening a Harewood intersection has local companies dealing with lost business, backed up traffic and danger from heavy trucks speeding through the diverted route.

The NZ Transport Agency says City Care work on the intersection of McLeans Island Rd off Johns Rd has "taken longer than expected", and traffic continues to be diverted along Logistics Drive.

Airpark Canterbury business development manager Phil Garrett wants someone held accountable for the "incompetent" delays that affected his time-critical car-parking business, where they taxi people to and from the airport.

"We have lost business as a result, no question about it."

Traffic was frequently backed up the length of Logistics Drive, where his company was located, and customers complained about the disruption making them late for flights.

It had become a main route for heavy trucks that sped so much the potential for accidents was "absolutely enormous", he said.

Despite the intersection being landscaped, road-marked and appearing to be finished, City Care continued to constantly change completion dates on the road sign."It just keeps not opening."

Omega Cars branch manager Greg Knight agreed there had been a lack of communication from contractors.

The ongoing delays were causing "a bit of stress", with customers returning rental cars being late for flights.

Their shuttle service had gone from a 15-minute return trip to the nearby airport, to 30 minutes.

Ken Jenkins said he had had it "up to my neck" with the road work delays interrupting his commute to work every day.

"I don't know why on earth City Care take so long. And what they are doing seems to be falling to bits."

Commuters took the long way behind the airport, since it was quicker to avoid the traffic clogging up in the road works.

NZ Transport Agency highway manager Colin Knaggs said it was now expected that the road would re-open in early August to one side of the road only. One way may have to then be closed off, if traffic delays are created, to Johns Rd, where 25,000 vehicles travelled a day.

"The work at the McLeans Island Rd intersection with Johns Rd has taken longer than expected, not helped by the unusually wet winter we have experienced."

The intersection would have four lanes operational in February.

Prometal Industries director John East said the increased traffic in Logistics Drive was actually a bonus since it gave them exposure they would never have got in their previous "sleepy" Bromley site. But he believed there was too much damage to new seals along Johns Rd.

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