MAYOR: Managing progress can be a delicate business

Published: 24 November 2022

Good things take time – I remind myself of that line from the cheese advert from time to time.

These past seven days though have seen big moves on some projects that Council is involved with and this has been cause for celebration.

The Walnut Avenue traffic lights were switched on last Friday and brought an end to a construction job spanning a bit over a year on one of our busiest roads, that intersects with State Highway 1. The toots of support from vehicles passing by the official celebration were music to the ears of Waka Kotahi, KiwiRail and the contractors who have worked hard to get the job done.

It did create considerable inconvenience to locals, but that is over now and lessons learned from the project will no doubt be applied to Waka Kotahi’s next road safety project in the Tinwald corridor, where more traffic lights are planned at the intersection of SH1/Agnes Street/Lagmhor Road.

Also last week, another important project began – the relocation of the rail container terminal from the middle of Ashburton to the old Fairton freezing works, where an existing rail siding will be re-engineered.

That project is another that has taken many meetings to bring to fruition, and it will pay dividends for the district.

This past month my calendar has been full of meetings with people planning work that will add value to our district, and I’ve represented Council at many events that highlight the positive vibe and potential of our people.

We are indeed the district of choice for lifestyle and opportunity … but that can only happen on a solid platform of infrastructure, like roads and water and sewer pipes.

So while we still have some major projects ahead in the next few years that will change the face of Ashburton (I’m thinking the second bridge), it’s just as important to keep the platform of infrastructure well maintained.

You will have seen our roading contractors working at many sites around the district now the season for roading repairs has arrived, and around Ashburton we have some contactors working on an extension of the wastewater network at Allenton and others are about to renew wastewater pipes on William Street.

All this platform work has to be done in a way that still allows people to go about their lives and business as usual, so it is a fine balance keeping disruption to the minimum and everyone happy with progress.

You can find details about our forward works programme and special projects on our website

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