Call for motorists to obey reduced speed limit in roadworks on Wangi Road frustrates some readers

DANGER ZONE: Council's projects manager Luke Ryan amid the barriers in the works zone on Wangi Road. The works were originally scheduled for completion last Ausgust.  Picture: David Stewart
DANGER ZONE: Council's projects manager Luke Ryan amid the barriers in the works zone on Wangi Road. The works were originally scheduled for completion last Ausgust. Picture: David Stewart

IT seems our front page story last week on Lake Macquarie City Council’s plea for motorists to slow down through the roadworks on Wangi Road, at Rathmines, touched a nerve.

Council told the Lakes Mail that two accidents had been observed at the site, and motorists were putting themselves and council workers in danger by speeding through the works, near Toronto Country Club.

Some readers took to Facebook and to the phone to join the call for motorists to simply obey the law.

Local resident Wendy Malcolm said: “I got tooted by a P-plater who sat on my tail and actually tried to go around me through these roadworks. No respect for our road workers who are doing a great job in this awful heat.”

But most readers took a different view.

They cited the year-long duration of the roadworks, the stop-start nature of work at the site, a lack of law enforcement, and inconsistent speed limiting signs as the real cause of the trouble.

Some took aim at the entire premise of the article, claiming the Lakes Mail should have instead investigated the “real story” which they said was council’s mismanagement of the works, and the speed limiting signs at the site.

A spokesperson for council said the roadworks had taken longer than expected.

“The works were scheduled to be completed in August, 2016, however, due to unforeseen geotechnical and road design issues the completion date has been delayed until March, 2017,” they said.

“As the works are being carried out on a state classified road, all changes to the design and construction works had to be first negotiated and approved by Roads and Maritime Services prior to works continuing.”

The council said there was a reason why no work was possible at the site for days at a time.

“The unforeseen geotechnical and road design issues and the need to identify solutions and obtain approval from the road authority for each change as they became evident resulted in council leaving the worksite on occasions to complete other projects nearby while waiting for the appropriate approvals to be granted,” they said.

The council was also justified in altering the speed limit, and leaving a 60km/h sign in place even when no workers were on site.

“Speed limits are restricted on roadwork sites not just to protect road workers but also motorists,” they said.  

“While it would be preferable to remove the temporary speed restriction, the roadwork speed limit of 60km/h has remained as the road works are incomplete and the road conditions are not currently suitable for an 80km/h environment due to reduced lane clearance.”

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