COOBER PEDY News & Events

‘BAND-AID’ FIX FOR PUBLIC SAFETY AT COOBER PEDY MOTEL ENTRANCE – ‘UNDERWHELMING’

Motel Coober PedyC

The public road in front of the Lookout Cave Motel. Idyllic location with stunning views, but no safety guards where the road meets the edge of the hill in front of the business, with a sheer drop to the bottom. Incomplete guttering stops short of the property entrance/exit. Even guttering would have been a deterrent.

REPORT: DCCP Agenda 2nd July 2019 Portion of the above mentioned roads have very steep grades from the edge of road. This is creating a safety hazard for both pedestrians and vehicular traffic

The council have previously considered the installation of Guardrail adjacent portions of Crowder’s Gully Rd, McKenzie Road and Elleway Drive as depicted on the attached plan.

The cost of the placement of guardrail would exceed $400,000 which of course is beyond the capacity of the council to fund.

The risk of an incident occurring is medium with serious consequences if it occurs but will be ameliorated if some form of indication of risk minimisation device is installed.

This could be addressed in part by temporary action to either
1. Placement of a post and pipe barrier at an estimated cost of $15,000
2. placement of Reflective posts at 10 m spacing at an estimated cost of $1,400 installed
3. Placement of temporary bunting. With a limited life of 2 years maximum.

The option favoured whilst not protective of vehicle access is an indication of the unsafe nature of the embankment. This of course is deemed a temporary measure and a permanent crash barrier is the most desirable option.

Recommendation/Passed That the council approve the installation of reflective roadside posts at a cost of $1,400.

RESPONSE: Sami Kambouris, Managing Director of the Lookout Cave Motel said they had not been made aware of the above decision on the 2 July and has told the Coober Pedy Regional Times, “In our circumstance the decision to put posts with reflectors is underwhelming.

As owners of a busy commercial property we deem this particular stretch of road problematic. The road turns from 2 lanes down to 1 with no markings to indicate this and the ‘give way’ sign has never pointed in the right direction, it actually faces our property.

We have complained regarding this and the lack of lighting at a 3 way intersection with not much response.

We have deliveries for guest consumables, gas and other goods where the drivers find it extremely hard to navigate their trucks with low over hanging wires and a dirt road they can’t drive down. They are left to reverse the entire stretch of McKenzie Close back to Catacomb Road or turn their vehicles around where 3 roads meet.

This again being the same problem for travellers with trailers and caravans.

Night time is even more hazardous with lack of street lighting.

A major complaint from guests is that they find it hard to see where they are driving at night and they don’t feel safe walking into or from town at night.

We have seen quite a few close calls and would hate to see a bad accident that could have been avoided with safer upgrades not a bandaid solution.

We would also like to note that we are the only commercial motel in town that does not have bitumen access from both directions.

The original owner of the motel actually paid for the bitumen road himself. Many guests that come through Coober Pedy are travelling with caravans and want to experience a night underground with us.

All navigation systems send them on the shortest route via Umoona Road to McKenzie Close which is a dirt road and not easy to manoeuvre caravans and vehicles up particularly after heavy rain fall which leaves grooves knee deep throughout.

We have approached all navigation system providers only to be told this can’t be changed as the program is designed to give motorists the shortest route to a destination.

We would welcome a discussion with members of council as we were never approached regarding the safety barriers and would like this decision to be revisited.”

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