I can’t believe what I have been seeing the last couple of days down in Albert Road, Devonport. I wrote about it a month or so ago: the unbelievable cost of ripping up perfectly good tar seal footpaths and concrete footpaths that were put down in the 1920s. I mentioned the cost of this was going to be determined AFTER they had finished doing the work and my very close sources to the coalface tell me that the costings were just under a million dollars for the whole lot. I also understand a sizeable portion was for road management that would have done roadworks in the Lincoln Road tunnel in New York justice.
So now, some eight weeks later, all the road control people are back, the road construction people are back, attired in their variety of hi-viz helmets, jackets and all the normal rigmarole that these days is part of road works, and what are they doing? They are ripping up vast areas of the concrete, trucking it off site, reboxing it all and relaying it. I have been told, once again by my sources, the concrete was not good. This is not good enough, come on. It is absolutely crap that we have to put up with this sort of inefficiency within our so called “Super City”. I believe there should be an enquiry into this, and the books should be opened to see exactly how much this is costing us. Is it at further cost to the ratepayer? I hope not. Normal practice in the contracting world is these extra costs would be met by those who were responsible for the substandard product. I hope this is the case.
As I am a concrete contractor, and have been for 47 years now. I looked at the standard of work down there, and thought “How the hell can they get away with this?” All the borders of the tar seal where it joins the grass verges, are 4 x 2 untreated pine that will rot away within a year. Somebody has got to have a look at this, and somebody should be accountable.
While we are on the Devonport track, I hear they are spending over $100 million for works at the Devonport Naval Base. If this is a fact, I believe that Lake Road should be turned into a priority road of importance. In times of emergencies people have to get down Lake Road and into the Naval Base; it should be non-negotiable. That road should be sorted and not talked about. No written reports, no consultations, just get on with it and make it a first-class four-lane road to enable Naval and Defence Forces and staff rapid ingress and egress to our Naval facilities.
It goes without saying that the new Waterview tunnel has been a huge help for Auckland transport. I was headed south just recently and the Victoria Park flyover had ground to an absolute complete stop at 9am on a wet Friday morning. So I shot off into the western direction, through the tunnel and out towards South Auckland, averaging 80km. It was indeed a dream. The only thing they did wrong with regard to the whole project was taking away the tunnelling machine, as there should have been a plan right after that to tunnel under the Harbour and given us another entry to the North Shore.
We have to remember that the Harbour Bridge was finished in 1959, so it is nearly 60 years old and heaven help if anything happened to it, such as ship banging into one of the big concrete supports. The economic catastrophe to the Shore, even if the bridge was shut for just a few days. Can you imagine the chaos? Also, as I mentioned a few months ago, the water levels at a high tide or an extreme high tide are lapping that motorway on the North Shore side, by the Northcote turn off. At some stage the whole motorway will have to be lifted a whole metre as was done on the Western motorway, to account for rising water levels.
It’s nice to see daylight saving back as we head into spring, Christmas will be here before we know it again, and another year will have drawn to a close. A good time to remind everyone to get out and enjoy our beautiful country and make time to see your family and friends.