Livelihoods hit: bakery owner

Roads closed . . . The closure of Oamaru's lower Eden St (main photo), between Thames and Humber Sts while roadworks are being carried out, is affecting business. Work is also being carried out in numerous other sites in Oamaru, including the corner of Humber and Trent Sts (top left), and Orwell St (top right). PHOTOS: ASHLEY SMYTH

Ongoing roadworks on Oamaru’s lower Eden St have been ‘‘diabolical’’ for business, Peter Pan Bakery and Cafe owner John Greaney says.

The works, which were being carried out to reconstruct the underlying pavement between Thames and Humber Sts, and extend the life of the road, began on August 9, Waitaki District Council assets operations manager Joshua Rendell said.

The work had been scheduled to take 10 weeks, and the road was now being prepared for the final surfacing of asphalt this week, which would be laid at night.

‘‘Pavement rehabilitations are done on roads where there are underlying issues with the road pavement, which often present as potholes or deformations in the road surface,’’ Mr Rendell said.

The cost for this work was about $530,000.

The roadworks had caused Eden St to be closed to through traffic, and MrGreaney said business in the bakery was down about 50% some days.

‘‘I accept they need to do this . . . but to shut it for a couple of weeks is terrible,’’ he said.

The area was not residential, and the road closure was affecting ‘‘several livelihoods’’.

‘‘We’re sucking it up as much as we can, but it’s just getting unreasonable, I think.’’

Mr Rendell said business owners received three notices in regard to the Eden St works — the first in November 2021, the next in July this year, along with a media release, and an additional update on September

Mr Greaney said staff in the hospitality industry were hard to come by at the moment, and he could not afford to lose any by putting them off until business picked up.

They were taking it ‘‘day by day’’ at the moment, he said.

‘‘I don’t care what they do . . . they need to open the road.’’

However, Downer Group staff had performed well in managing what was a difficult site, Mr Rendell said.

In the past couple of weeks, they had been finishing the final surface, compacting the pavement and ensuring the correct shape of the road, to tie it into existing services, and the kerb and channel.

‘‘In order to accommodate those businesses adjacent to lower Eden St, the contractor adjusted its work methodology by splitting the works in half, closing only one half of the road for most of the construction to ensure access to public car parks.

‘‘They have managed the arrival and departure of coaches, ensured access for emergency services, and placed additional signage to ensure customers were aware businesses were open,’’ Mr Rendell said.

Road ‘‘rehabilitations’’ were also happening in Orwell St, carried out by Whitestone Contracting Limited, and Nore St, by South Roads Limited, as well as several streets being resurfaced by Fulton Hogan, Mr Rendell said.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency also planned to carry out road rehabilitation work on some of its highway network soon.

The roadworks had been programmed to be completed for some time. Some of this work was scheduled to be completed in the 2021-2022 financial year, but due to contractor availability was not completed.

‘‘This work is now being done, as contractors have become available, hence the high number of sites currently being worked on.’’

Mr Rendell had no comment to make about the uneven road surface in Itchen St following recent flooding, and said details would be released as information became available.