AFTER nearly every heavy rain in the last 50 years, Kerry Rhodes has had to scrape away the gravel that washes down from the unsealed section of Sharland Ave, and the steep bank opposite. The runoff is substantial. “At times it sounds like we live next to a waterfall,” Kerry’s wife Jan said.
Until the council put a pipe under their driveway and a small hump across it, the slurry used to end up at their door. In some cases, runoff reaches the back doors of houses in Glenora Rd below. Their neighbour, accommodation provider Veronica Youd, says it is unacceptable that a residential street about 1km from the town’s post office remains unsealed.
One of New Norfolk’s oldest streets, Sharland Ave starts at Blair St and connnects with Glenora Rd at the town boundary. Mr Rhodes says it has been particularly busy during the roadworks on the bridge roundabout, with many motorists using it as a bypass. Narrow for its entire length, the first half of the street is sealed and has gutters and footpaths, but the second half, from an old quarry, is unsealed.
Mrs Youd, who operates New Norfolk Apartments a few doors along from Mr and Mrs Rhodes, said her approaches to Derwent Valley councillors had been disappointing. Only two councillors had responded to her, and just one had visited to look at the problem. A recent meeting with new general manager Dean Griggs was more promising and Mrs Youd is looking forward to the outcome of his inquiries into the issue.
Mrs Youd said the state of the road had cost her business, with some of her guests refusing to drive on the road. “It is extremely unsafe, has a dangerous blind corner on the crest of a hill, and it is very narrow in parts and is difficult to pass other cars, has no footpaths, guttering or safety barriers,” she said. “It is muddy and slushy in the winter and dry and dusty in the summer.”
In a letter, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Michael Ferguson said the council could nominate Sharland Ave for funding under the Roads to Recovery program. “I encourage you to keep engaging with the council on this matter, as they are the road owner and the decision lies with them,” Mr Ferguson wrote to Mrs Youd.