ANGER at the state of the southern end of the Maria River Road has reached boiling point, with residents demanding Port Macquarie-Hastings Council re-grade their end of the stretch.
Many have described the state of the road as the “worst its ever been”.
Potholes have cratered the first half of the road.
But once vehicles reach the Kempsey Shire boundary the difference is likened to night and day.
“It’s almost impassable at some parts at our end,” said Rick Collins, a longtime farmer who said residents were considering blocking the road to get council’s attention.
“It’s potholes after potholes and it’s been getting worse and worse.”
Kempsey Shire Council initiated a major gravel resheeting of their end of the road back in July 2012.
Since then, the council’s director of infrastructure services Robert Scott said, despite the rain and flooding in early 2013, and the recent bout of dry, the road has shown “excellent wear resistance”.
And, according to North Shore’s Kingsley Searle, Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (PMHC) should take a leaf out of its neighbouring shire’s books.
It comes soon after the North Shore Progress Association vice-president raised concerns about the deterioration of Plomer Road, another coastal link.
“At the end of the day it’s the road base that’s the real problem,” Mr Searle said. “Plomer and Maria River Road are in the same state, it’s simply not safe. We’re pulling our hair out - it’s beyond frustrating.”
The council’s director of infrastructure and asset management Jeffery Sharp said unsealed roads across the entire network had experienced the same level of deterioration.
“Due to the extreme dry conditions of the last eight months, many of our unsealed roads have deteriorated at a faster rate than sometimes experienced, as a small level of moisture is required to bind unsealed road materials together for optimum pavement life,” Mr Sharp said.
But to say more roads in the Hastings are in the same poor condition, Mr Searle said, was of even more concern.
“That aside is more disgusting, what is council there for if they can’t even get you safely to your home,” he said.