It’s a Third World road leading to one of Taree’s busiest enterprises.
Negotiating the path to Taree PCYC is fraught. The road is pocked by countless potholes and its condition deteriorates by the day. As it is classed as a private driveway on private property it is not repaired by MidCoast Council road crews.
“In the last five years it has become really bad,” Taree PCYC manager Justin Hayes said.
The club, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, will conduct a boxing promotion – The Manning River Rumble – on Saturday April 28, to help raise funds to repair the road.
“It’s an event for the road and to support boxing, so we have to make sure that we allocate some of the proceeds to be able to replace boxing gloves and bags. But primarily it’s to fix the road,” Mr Hayes said.
Before anyone says hello, they will say, ‘wow, how about that road’.Taree PCYC manager Justin Hayes
However, repairs will be costly. “The last quote we got about four or five months ago with the kerbing work was about $60,000,” Mr Hayes explained.
“That’s removing what’s there and resealing the base and re-asphalting over the top and some of the kerbing work. It’s not just getting asphalt and dumping it in the hole, because the damage to the road over the years has been sustained for so long, that the holes have become so big that the water integrity of the road surface is broken and so it will keep potholing.
“Because the road is so bad and cars have been driving off it and over the kerb and gutter to get around the big craters, they have damaged the kerbing. We have to replace the kerbing because it won’t take the water away, so it will sit on the road and continue to wreck the road.”
The PCYC is open six days a week from 9am to 8pm and the thoroughfare is used by hundreds of cars in that time. It’s the home to numerous sports and activities as varied as cheer leading and boxing. Afternoons, from 4 o’clock, are particularly busy, with children being dropped off or collected. Mr Hayes estimates 1500 people come to the club each week in vehicles.
“Anyone who comes here in the afternoon will see there are cars absolutely everywhere with pick-up, drop-off and visits,” Mr Hayes said.
“We’ve been lucky I’ve got to say for a lot of years. When council still owned a lot of their road stuff and it was all in house, the trucks used to swing by with the last remnants of their asphalt in their truck and drop it in the holes.
“They used to support us quite well in that respect, but obviously a lot has changed, that work is now contracted out.
“MidCoast Council has a lot of holes in its roads so there is probably not much left in those trucks when they finish.
“Part of the reason it has got to that condition was that a lot of maintenance work probably wasn’t done early enough to save the road from completely failing.”
Mr Hayes drives the road every day, so he knows better than most how bad it is.
“Generally when someone comes in and their first comment isn’t about the condition of the road – I’m surprised. Before anyone says hello, they will say, ‘wow, how about that road’,” he said.
“Hopefully one day it will change, and they will say, hey how about that road – it’s great.”
The road into the Taree PCYC is a private driveway on private property, according to MidCoast Council.
“Council’s involvement stops at the road reserve and maintenance of the driveway is the responsibility of the property owner,’’ council said in a statement to the Times.
“Council is unable to spend ratepayer money on a private driveway.”
Meanwhile, the April 28 boxing promotion will include a number of fighters who train at the PCYC.
This includes current State champion Henry Woods along with Ryan Spencer, Grace Brayne, Jyah Kent and Shannon Kent.
Woods is carded to meet Dean Stewart in the program. He beat Stewart on the way to winning his State title.
The Times will have more information on the promotion closer to the event.