Gravel bash

This young tacker gets through Stevens’ gravel patches unscathed – others haven’t been so lucky. Photo by Steve Grant.

RESIDENTS around Stevens Street in White Gum Valley say gas company ATCO has left their streets a dangerous mess after recent pipe replacements. 

ATCO cut large chunks out of the asphalt in order to reach the gas pipes, cementing the holes at the end of each working day to make the street safe and keep dust levels under control.

But since that stretch of the project’s completion, continued traffic has broken up the concrete, leaving several large gravel pits on Stevens Street and loose stones across the asphalt. 

Barry Healy lives in the the newish Evermore apartments and said the pits posed a severe risk to pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, while being more than a nuisance for nearby residents.

Cement dust

 “Firstly, a problem is residents are breathing in the cement dust; this dust is also sticking to and covering our verandas,” Mr Healy said.

Another resident contacted the Herald to say the dust had also worked its way inside and covered their solar panels.

“The next problem is the loud noise of cars driving over the gravel as well as the danger of pedestrians trying to cross the street to avoid the gravel pits,” Mr Healy said.

One of his neighbours came off their bike trying to avoid the gravel.

“It is quite a problem, it is not a minor issue,” he said. 

The Herald also witnessed a distressed cyclist trapped between three cars crossing the intersection of Stevens and Wood streets on Tuesday morning when she was forced to swerve into the middle of the road to dodge the gravel.

The woman had to frantically wave her arms to alert the motorists to her presence, given her downhill speed meant braking on the gravel was not an option and she was out of position.

Mr Healy said Fremantle council had been helpful, tracking down ATCO so the residents could deal with them, having engineers inspect the area and sending in the street sweeping machine on several occasions for a quick fix.

“ATCO is intending to resurface the road in 10 days’ time and that is just not good enough; it has been sitting here for a month or more and it is just ridiculous,” Mr Healy said.

“We would like them to come out at the end of each day and fix the road as they had previously. We would also like them to bloody well pay to clean our houses. We are not happy and are letting ATCO know we are not happy.”

A representative from ATCO told the Herald they’d only just heard “yesterday” about the problems with the temporary repairs and promised to have them upgraded before some permanent tarmac was installed.


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