THE WETTEST year on record and growing discontent from residents over the state of Tamworth Regional Council's roads, has seen millions more poured into repairs.
Mayor Russell Webb announced on Thursday the council will allocate another $7 million to roadworks over the next 12 months, with the notoriously bumpy Dean Street in North Tamworth the first cab off the rank.
The road, which serves as a crucial entrance to Tamworth hospital, has been likened to a "goat track" by residents who have been transported to hospital by ambulance.
"Dean Street has been a bone of contention for some time, and there's been a lot of work under the road surface with water mains and sewer mains that's had to be done," Cr Webb said.
"I can happily say the work on this, and the asphalting of the last section will happen in the next couple of weeks and will be done before the end of the month."
Council's manager of operations and construction, Murray Russell, said four new contract maintenance crews have been hired to undertake re-sheeting, resealing and drainage work across the road network.
But Dean Street would be the top priority, he said, due to feedback from a community survey undertaken in December and January.
"We've had a lot of commentary from people that have recognised it's the last leg of their trip to the hospital, when people aren't feeling particularly well and the road is very rough," he said.
The money will come from council's reserve fund, which the mayor said it had been "saving for a rainy day".
Tamworth resident Graeme Collett was one upset resident who raised the poor condition of Dean Street with the council in April last year, after he broke his leg and was transported to Tamworth hospital by ambulance.
"It was so rough that the ambulance driver didn't drive straight up Dean Street, they wove their way up trying to avoid the potholes," he said.
"I've had further treatments and volunteer drivers have been taking me to a clinic at the hospital, and with one exception, they all avoided Dean Street and went the long way around.
"I will believe today's announcement when I see this goat track has actually been repaired, but I have no desire to test the work with a re-enactment of the original trip."
Cr Webb said wet weather was to blame for the poor condition of the region's roads and compared the storm events to natural disasters like the floods on the Northern Rivers.
"Places like Lismore have hit the television because they've been flooded and absolutely bashed and I'm very sorry for those people," he said.
"But in areas like ours, we've had constant wet weather for such a long time that the roads are falling apart."
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