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Roundabout roasting for Council as $650,000 lavished on new concrete circle, while potholes deepen

Oct 30, 2022


Road users and residents have taken to social media to well and truly roast Hawkesbury Council’s new North Richmond roundabout at the junction of Grose Vale Rd and Sunnyside Cres, with many pointing out the poor placing of the new roundabout, while calling for dangerous potholes to be fixed first.


Strangely, or perhaps wisely, given the public backlash, Council leader, Liberal Mayor Sarah McMahon – previously Federal candidate Sarah Richards – did not appear for a photo opportunity as she had done earlier when Wolseley Rd was rebuilt.


Both are ratepayer-funded infrastructure, though the McGraths Hill stretch of road was flood damaged, while the Northo roundabout is completely new.


Despite a “sobering” report on our region’s potholed and severely damaged roads released at October’s Council meeting – which pointed out the reasons road repairs are not being carried out swiftly is partly due to, “shortages in the availability of contractors and materials due to a high demand right across Sydney and NSW for flood recovery work”, no such shortages though for roundabout construction – it appears.


What do you think – should the money handed over to contractors for this new roundabout have been better spent helping to repair our roads?


And if the Council can find contractors to build a new $650,000 roundabout – that’s what it cost Hawkesbury ratepayers, though that was the price in 2020 when it was originally going to be placed at Riverview St, it could now be more – why can’t they find contractors to mend our roads?


Maybe they’re too busy building roundabouts…


Motorists and residents were also highly critical online about the timing of the opening of the roundabout – smack bang in the morning commute and school run.


Hawkesbury Council were the Project Managers for the roundabout, so they would have made the timing decisions.


Just up the road from the new multi-thousand dollar circle of concrete – incidentally, large trucks cannot go round it because the road is not wide enough, and instead go over it, as evidenced by the truck tracks in the concrete on opening day – a very dangerous Grose Vale Rd beckons, offering deep vehicle-damaging potholes, some still not repaired from months ago and steadily getting worse.


We took some pictures today of just a couple of the worst – and they have been steadily growing deeper and more dangerous for months.


Here’s our Sunday afternoon top pick…


This massive crater – which has been reported by many and is getting worse by the day – is just up from Enniskillen Orchard. It’s Hawkesbury Council’s responsibility to repair this…


Why wasn’t the roundabout money spent on road repairs, is what many online commentators asked. It’s a very good question, given we seem to be in an emergency situation, “sobering” even, when it comes to road repairs.


Here are some of the online comments, the majority of which were scathingly negative.


“Did someone draw this roundabout freehand before they poured it?”


“Waste of taxpayers’ money. Who on earth thought this was a good idea needs to get another job.”


“Thanks for working on it in peak hour too and holding everyone up for school and work.”


“Why was this not constructed in the school holidays and night ??? It was a complete nightmare this morning. The poor schools crossing man was having to direct traffic for school drop off while trying to get the kids across the half blocked road…. what a complete shitfight it was not to mention how bloody dangerous. Thank God to Dave our crossing man for keeping our kids safe, cause you guys certainly weren’t.”


“How about fixing Sackville road? It’s absolute disgraceful the damage to my car over $1000 in damage, let alone to other locals.”


“Spend the money and fix the holes on Grose Vale road.”


“I drove through this horse crap today. This roundabout is completely dysfunctional. It does not work. It is dangerous, idiotic and causes more delays than it could ever save. Whoever designed this should be sacked. Rip it up, put it back the way it was. It is completely redundant. Just like Hawkesbury City Council.”


The roundabout – which has been on Hawkesbury Council’s drawing board for over two years – was originally to be placed at the Riverview Street junction – near Aldi – but was moved to the Sunnyside Cres junction following the advice of Transport for NSW and the RMS because they said it would have been too close to the traffic lights and likely to cause a bigger bottleneck.


The original idea was to allow people joining Grose Vale Rd from Riverview Street to be easily able to turn right at a new roundabout there, rather than queuing at the current t-junction. As it is, the plan now is go left out of Riverview and effectively do a u-turn at the roundabout to come back onto Grose Vale Rd.


But the new piece of infrastructure is right next to the North Richmond PS pedestrian crossing, which apparently is being moved. You may ask why that wasn’t done first, given the Council has had over two years to work that out, because right now the combination of a school crossing right on top of a new roundabout is a nightmare for drivers, children, parents and carers attempting to cross.


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