Big effort to finish glut of footpath jobs

19:27, Feb 26 2014

Pedestrians in the Mackenzie district will soon have safer footpaths, thanks to a $200,000 rollout of maintenance work over the next few months.

In Fairlie, Gall and Talbot Sts, Mt Cook Rd and others will be enhanced.

In Tekapo, the $32,000 upgrade of Lakeside Dr should be completed by next week.

Meanwhile, in Twizel, about $45,000 worth of footpath upgrades will be done during April.

Mackenzie District Council roading manager Suzy Ratahi said it was "merely an issue of timing" that all the projects were happening at once.

"You have to get it done within the next few weeks, before it gets too cold. Once you get into winter, we spend all our time clearing snow off the road," she said.


Mrs Ratahi said the work in Tekapo would enhance the township's walkway, as well as connecting with some of the other beautification projects planned in the wake of the foreshore's proposed commercial development.

"It's quite a lot of work to get done at once, but much of it is overdue."

Fairlie Community Board chairman Owen Hunter said locals had asked for several footpaths to be upgraded.

"A lot of the footpaths down the main street were becoming quite cracked. They were a bit of a safety hazard for older people on their mobility scooters," he said.

Mrs Ratahi estimated that the Fairlie work would cost more than $160,000. It would begin in April and should be completed within three weeks, she said.

In 2012, the council amalgamated its roading rates, rather than having them split between the three community boards.

"But it also means that any money that doesn't get spent before the end of the financial year goes back into the pot for the next year. Fairlie had been planning these projects for some time, so it's good they can finally go ahead," Mrs Ratahi said.

She said many of Twizel's footpaths needed to be upgraded due to general wear and tear from increased foot traffic. She hoped the work would only take about a fortnight to complete.

The Timaru Herald