Ratepayers face bills for road upgrades
Hamilton ratepayers could be lumped with costly roading upgrades when Te Rapa Rd is stripped of its state highway status and reverts to a city road.
Councillor Dave Macpherson fired off the warning during talks with NZ Transport Agency staff yesterday over plans to revoke the state highway status of parts of Avalon Drive and Te Rapa Rd.
NZTA has signalled a host of recommended changes to the status of roads in the region as part of the building of the Te Rapa and Ngaruawahia sections of the Waikato Expressway.
The Transport Ministry will make the changes based on NZTA recommendations.
NZTA also wants to declare as a state highway the 5.1-kilometre section of local road from SH39, through Limmer Rd, Te Kowhai Rd, and Koura Drive to the new central Te Rapa bypass inter- change.
Mr Macpherson told the council's finance and monitoring committee he was concerned by the state of Te Rapa Rd, noting several open drains, and described parts of the roadside as a "mess".
"There are weeds and gorse . . . it's not finished off to standard we would have for a city road."
Mr Macpherson said the open drains were a safety issue, adding that he did not see why the council should spend money to get the road up to standard.
Councillor Maria Westphal said Te Rapa Rd was the gateway into the city but the council had been hindered in the past about what it could do because the road belonged to NZTA.
Councillors resolved that council staff and NZTA present plans for upgrading Te Rapa Rd, including the revocation of its state highway status, at the committee's next meeting.
The report will also identify any costs to the council.