31 May 2024

Late night construction disrupts Auckland business, causes safety concerns

6:25 am on 31 May 2024
Bar Magda customers walking over the concrete outside.

Bar Magda customers walking over broken up concrete outside. Photo: Supplied / Bar Magda, Carlos Buenaventura

Business owners are frustrated at late night construction around Auckland's Karangahape Road causing disruption and threatening the safety of customers.

Carlo Buenaventura, owner of Bar Magda on Cross Street, says he was shocked by concrete drilling outside the restaurants door as patrons were coming in and out on Monday night.

"When I opened the door, right next to me was people bashing concrete and drilling in the ground. We were not of any changes whatsoever."

He said they were informed of scheduled work between Sunday 26 May and Tuesday 28 May, between 8am and 4pm.

But, he said work continued without any safety precautions until after 6pm, when they had customers coming in.

Photos taken on Monday night show people stepping over broken up concrete, with heavy machinery operating on the footpath.

He said they had no signage to show the bar was still open, and some customers were put off by the noisy construction.

"Those blockages that they had to deal with, without assisting us with any signage whatsoever, had effect on our business."

The contractors continued work after he informed them that it was affecting the bar's ability to operate, he said.

"That was after we informed them that we are not aware of the work being carried out, we are open and finding it hard to trade under those circumstances and that it was not safe."

Crews stood down

Auckland's power provider, Vector, said it has been undertaking asset replacement and network reinforcement work in the area around City Rail Link's Karanga-a-Hape station, as part of the wider City Rail Link project.

In a statement, it said a contractor undertaking work to backfill a trench was held up by bad weather.

"Our contractor discovered an issue caused by bad weather over the weekend. This required backfilling of a trench, which meant [Monday's] work went longer than expected.

"However, our traffic management plans have been approved by AT and allow us to work in the area between 7am-10pm."

Construction crews outside Bar Magda.

Construction crews outside Bar Magda. Photo: Supplied / Bar Magda, Carlos Buenaventura

Vector said it takes safety very seriously, and the contracting staff involved in the Cross Street work have been temporarily stood down.

A full investigation into the work will be carried out by the contractor, in conjunction with Vector.

Construction disruption an ongoing problem

Buenaventura said construction work taking place around the wider Karangahape Road area in preparation for City Rail Link has caused continued disruption for the business.

He said it has been badly managed and communicated by City Rail Link and Vector.

"This whole construction has been on for close to 8 weeks. We were told it was around 4 to 6 [weeks], and it's still not finished. We understand that it's for our benefit eventually, but the way it's been managed and handled is very unorganised and quite disruptive."

In one incident four weeks ago, power was cut to the business while it was operating with customers inside.

Buenaventura said they were given no notice from Vector.

"We just had a random power cut out of nowhere and we were still operating. We lost a lot of produce from it.

"I think if they don't have any proper strategies in place, and all they care about is finishing the job, it is quite difficult for us and for customers as well. It's been quite difficult navigating around this."

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