12 December 2010

HIgh Cost to Unley's footpath repairs

Council7 Dec 10 @ 08:15am by Lisa Bachmayer
BACKLOG: Unley councillor Jennie Boisvert says footpath repairs rate highly among Unley residents. Picture: Noelle Bobrige
UNLEY’S footpaths will either take 20 years to pave or a hefty cost of at least $13 million to speed up the work.

Elected members will consider moving the backlog forward for completion in two to four years by taking out a loan, after councillor Jennie Boisvert raised the suggestion at last week’s council meeting.

“During the election campaign ... I found it was the single most important thing people wanted to talk about,” Cr Boisvert told the meeting.

“When they said their footpath was in an appalling state, I had to say it was not even in the next four-year budget.”

The majority of councillors agreed the maintenance of footpaths was the number one concern for ratepayers in the lead up to the November election.

“I get phone calls on this more than anything else,” Cr Rob Sangster said.

“The whole City of Unley would be in rhapsody if we could get it done in four years.”

Acting city services manager Debbie Richardson said only half of Unley’s bitumen footpaths would be paved in 10 years under existing budget provisions.

“We would be certainly looking at over $13 million (to speed up the process), and would also need a contract manager to take on all 74km of footpaths in that timeframe,” Ms Richardson said.

While councillors admitted the cost could be “horrendous”, they said the option of moving the work forward should be considered.

“It is very unlikely I would support something that would increase our debt by 150 per cent but let’s see what the report says,” Cr Rufus Salaman said.

Unley reported a net surplus of $3.17 million at June 30, 2010. Council staff will investigate and report back to the elected members in February.

Would you like to see footpath repairs in Unley fast tracked? Leave your thoughts below.


  1. Just fix our footpath Jenny. The administration know how poor it is. It's dangerous and needs to be upgraded. Make it happen, that's why you were voted back in.

  2. I have asked for a report to be put to Council to accelerate the footpath replacement programme. This would see all bitumen footpaths replaced by 2018. At the current rate they will be completed by 2042! I hope to gain the support of fellow Councillors when we get the report later this year. We may also have an opportunity to identify some budget savings this year (by not replacing kerb and water tables when we reseal a street?). This may be able to go into footpaths. Its interesting to note that some Councillors thought the current replacement time was alright. If your particular street has trip hazards that can be fixed in the mean time and they can be idenified they can be repaired with in a week or two. I have asked staff to provide a list of all bitumen footpaths and their individual hazard rating, this will be available in May. I will the circulate this for comment.