Fears on steeply-banked new road

Wednesday May 27, 2020 Written by Published in Local
Ruru Taka’i at the steep driveway of her home in Kiikii, created by the new, heavily banked main road. 20052611 Ruru Taka’i at the steep driveway of her home in Kiikii, created by the new, heavily banked main road. 20052611

Infrastructure boss Diane Charlie-Puna stepped in last night after learning of an elderly nurse’s concerns about the safety of the newly-sealed main road. 

Ruru Taka‘i, a nurse in her 70s, drives a motorbike every day to get to work.

But she says the work to rebuild the main road through Tupapa have made the sides of the curves steep and dangerous – including outside her own home.

She and her neighbours, living on the inland side of the road, say it’s a hazardous nightmare to pull in and out of their driveways.

After the road upgrade, Taka‘i has to grip the brakes to steady the bike on the slope, and because of the angle the road, this has caused scrapes to her vehicle and to those of her visitors.

Taka‘i has been trying to get an answer from Infrastructure Cook Islands since March – but to no avail.

A worker did contact her and explained they would be back in three to four weeks to fix her driveway – but nothing happened.

“It’s now the end of May, and I’m still waiting.”

“The road is so very high,” she said. “They said they would fill in my driveway and fix it to make it safe.

“And the deep ditch between her hedge and the main road is dangerous for walkers and vehicles. At night you can’t see where it suddenly drops, someone could have an accident.”

Last night, after leaving messages with her office during the day, Cook Islands News contacted Secretary of Infrastructure Diane Charlie-Puna.

Charlie-Puna said she had been unaware of the predicament of Kiikii residents like Taka‘i, whom she knows personally. She promised she would look into the situation immediately – and would visit Taka‘i to inspect the roadworks site.

Leave a comment