Welcome reprieve from traffic noise

    The State Highway 1 resurfacing work on Tay St between Mary and Jackson Sts is scheduled to be completed on January 26.

    IT IS possible whoops of joy were heard coming from residents living in the closed off section of Tay St when Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency(WKNZTA) announced the
    detour deadline was extended from January 21 to January 26, as it meant a few more nights of undisturbed sleep.

    Colonial on Tay motel owner Denise Winders said that despite all the torn up bitumen, diggers and graders, Tay St residents had been having the best sleeps they had had in a long time while their street was resurfaced.

    The road block brought a welcomed reprieve from the constant heavy traffic flow in the area.

    ‘‘There’s no big trucks rolling down the street in the middle of the night with their exhaust brakes on,’’ Ms Winders said.

    ‘‘Friday and Saturday nights were also like party central for all these young ones driving their cars.

    ‘‘We sleep upstairs, right on Tay St and get all the noise, so we are finding it very peaceful at the moment.

    ‘‘I was talking with some of the other moteliers, who pop in for a coffee, who said they are enjoying it [the road closure] because they are getting some sleep at night.

    ‘‘The trucks shouldn’t be allowed to go down Tay Street. The area desperately needs to have a heavy traffic bypass in place.

    ‘‘They need to do something about it.’’

    The problem had become particularly bad since the inner city build had started, she said.

    ‘‘When the road is not blocked there’s lots and lots of trucks. Then we get the delivery trucks at night and the milk tankers… I’ve been up at 4am and have seen [tankers]
    rocking down the street.

    ‘‘It just goes on all night, every night.’’

    Tay St resident Tracy Miller said things had become so desperate in her home she had considered installing hush glass to counteract the noise from the increased heavy vehicle activity, but the cost was impractical for her.

    ‘‘Sometimes it’s just a nightmare.

    ‘‘I truly don’t understand why they don’t have a heavy traffic bypass for this rebuild.’’

    The demolition truck and trailer units passing through were ‘‘huge’’.

    She expected the residents living around the Mary St section would be experiencing some intense noise disturbance as trucks had to slow to negotiate the bend at the narrower
    section of the road — frequently using their air brakes.

    She did not understand why WKNZTA could not establish traffic limitations for the area similar to those adopted in Europe where heavy vehicles were restricted from driving during curfew hours, Miss Miller said.

    ‘‘I feel there should be a time frame for them coming through. Instead of big massive trucks coming through at 2, 3 or 4 in the morning.

    ‘‘Maybe they need to look at some speed humps somewhere down the track if they keep it as-is, just to slow them down where they are bottlenecking coming through.’’

    She had often seen the tandem trucks mounting the kerb to make the turn from Elles Rd on to Tay St, knocking sign fixtures in the process.

    ‘‘It’s not made for big trucks to be turning into Tay St there.

    ‘‘There’s one really noisy one, a big tandem white one every morning just after 5-ish you can hear him coming… He’s so loud.’’

    In her frustration, she had considered taking a photo and reporting him to the company.

    Invercargill City Council roading and traffic bylaw states that ‘‘engine exhaust brakes are not allowed to be operated within the urban boundaries at any time.’’

    Invercargill City Council Roading manager Russell Pearson said the council was not aware of any complaints around engine breaking.

    ‘‘If council had received complaints we would follow up an investigate to see if there is a single repeat offender.’’

    But council would look to education first in accordance with its enforcement policy before any sanctions were imposed, he said.

    WKNZTA directed the road to be closed from January 11 to 21 while road crews resurfaced Tay St from Mary St to Jackson St but extended the completion date to January 26.

    A traffic detour via Elles Rd and Tweed St was put in place from Queens Dr to Lindisfarne St for light traffic, while heavy traffic was redirected via Tweed St and Rockdale Rd. Tay St residents were permitted to enter the detour zone.

    Motels on the busy section of SH1 have told the Southland Express that bookings were unaffected by the road work disruptions and had capacity bookings to accommodate people attending the Colgate Games at the ILT stadium.