Broadband work delays repairs

ESTHER ASHBY-COVENTRY
Last updated 05:00 14/12/2012
kerb
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/ Fairfax NZ
ROUGH: Uneven kerb on Hunt St.

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Fixing uneven footpaths and kerbs is on hold until the ultra fast broadband project is completed.

Timaru District Council land transport manager Andrew Dixon said although there was no specific timeframe for reinstatement work and it had been "a bit slow", but was speeding up.

The reinstatement - returning the land to its usual permanent state - is a requirement under the national code of practice.

Under the code a trench is only allowed open for two days so the tarseal is not weakened and the reinstatement company is liable for the standard of its work for two years.

"We have had a few quality issues (with Downer) but it is getting a lot better," Mr Dixon said.

A Downer spokeswoman said the company worked hard with the council on reinstatement to minimise the impact on people.

A council roading engineer has to ensure the reinstatement is done and also issues consents for the cabling work.

"We don't like trenching across roads," Mr Dixon said

He said the hold on the footpath and kerbing work was because they did not want to redo areas that were still awaiting cabling - which is not what Dot Hart wanted to hear.

Sixty-nine-year-old Mrs Hart tripped over, half an hour after expressing her concern to The Timaru Herald over the ruts on the roads, kerbs and footpaths.

She fell over on a rough kerb at the corner of Hunt and Le Cren streets suffering an abrasion and painful bruising below her knee.

Walking with a friend is something she does regularly but she is concerned that she cannot talk to them or look at the gardens any more without keeping a wary eye on the ground ahead of her.

After tripping on shingle spilling onto the footpath from a driveway on Grey Rd, Mrs Hart bought a scooter to hang on to for stability on precarious surfaces but it did not prevent her most recent fall.

Mr Dixon said he could not comment on that particular incident.

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- The Timaru Herald

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