Bournda's Widgeram Road 'unsafe' council grade early

Pot holes, ruts and erosion damage on Widgeram Road, Bournda.
Pot holes, ruts and erosion damage on Widgeram Road, Bournda.

Widgeram Rd residents say its condition is so bad it has caused damage to numerous windscreens, shock absorbers and even a petrol tank.

The unsealed stretch of road at Bournda has long been a source of frustration and concern for residents, who have been petitioning council to get the road sealed.

Residents and owners of Woodbine Park Eco Cabins said “yearly grades are not enough”  – feeling so desperate they are even considering making their own payments for the road to be tarred. 

“Dirt roads where school buses go down are graded three times a year and this road is only done once a year,” said resident Juanita Hack.

“There are a lot of people coming and going, especially over the tourist season with the cabins at the other end.”

It’s horrible coming home to see Juanita all shaky and crying because she almost crashed

Nigel Hack

Widgeram Rd was not scheduled for another grade until August but last week saw council move graders in to address more immediate concerns raised by approaches to council and media from residents.

A council spokesperson said the 800-metre unsealed section of Widgeram Rd is graded once per year as standard, “however if ‘dangerous’ a contractor is hired to do interim grades at a cost of about $4000 each”.

Resident Nigel Hack was appreciative of council’s response to bring the grade forward although said “it is only a temporary fix”.

“Ideally we would like to see the road tarred, it’s only 800 metres.”

Council said a major upgrade to the road “is not something currently on our program”.

Included in the petition is a proposal to identify the cost, so that residents and owners of Woodbine Park Cabins can consider making a contribution towards the sealing of the road. 

“It was once so smooth, we would’ve ever bought a house here if the road was this bad,” Ms Hack said.

“We know some residents are willing to pitch in over a term or payment plan to have the road sealed,” Mr Hack said.

“It’s horrible coming home to see Juanita all shaky and crying because she almost crashed,” Mr Hack said.

Ms Hack said she avoids trips into town because the road makes her nervous.

“I feel like I am at risk when I drive on the road, especially at night when the lighting is so bad. I used to go out a fair bit, but now I avoid trips into town when I can.”

The Hacks said they keep their good car in the garage – “Now I drive a $200 Suzuki Swift which is an absolute piece of junk,” Ms Hack said.