Steel concrete bollards in the middle of a road at the Hunter Economic Zone remain in place, despite a vehicle hitting them and claiming the life of a young Newcastle Knights player almost a month ago.
Elijah Faalua, a 17-year-old Kurri junior who played in the Knights' Harold Matthews Under 17's side this season, died in a single vehicle accident at the site, near Cessnock, on April 8.
Faalua was thrown from the front passenger seat and died at the scene, after the vehicle allegedly hit the bollards at about 11.15pm.
The bollards are on a bridge in the middle of a long stretch of private road, known to attract speeding and hoons.
Witnesses alleged that reflective markings were put on the yellow bollards after the accident.
The road, which is off Leggetts Drive at Pelaw Main, dips and narrows before the section of bridge where the bollards were erected about a month before the accident happened.
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said the bollards need attention.
"It's dangerous. It definitely needs to be made safer - whether it's signage or reduced speed," Cr Pynsent said.
Cr Pynsent said the "way the road funnels there" towards the bollards was a serious concern.
"I would be concerned about someone else's life being lost," he said.
The private road is used by the public, including workers in the industrial estate.
The stretch of road is known to attract drag racing and antisocial behaviour.
It's unclear who erected the bollards and the gates on the private road, which has multiple owners.
The gates next to the bollards are welded open, but no one has explained why.
Cr Pynsent confirmed the council owned part of the road, but did not erect the bollards.
The Newcastle Herald contacted a company that is suspected of erecting the bollards, but was unable to gain any response.
Cr Pynsent said whoever erected the bollards should "consult with road safety experts" like the professionals at the council.
"They need to talk to council about the safest way to install something like that."
Cr Pynsent said the council would "do whatever we can" to address the danger of the bollards.
Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council chief executive Tara Dever has driven along the road for years.
When she first saw the bollards, she "immediately thought someone might die here" because it was a known area for speeding.
"I was terrified someone would lose their life. I'm terrified there will be others. I know how people drive on that road - young, old, it doesn't matter," she said.
Ms Dever believes the bollards should be removed.
The land council owns a section of the road, but was not notified about plans to erect the bollards.
"They turned up overnight. People shouldn't sweep this issue under the carpet. A young boy's life has been lost," she said.
After the crash killed the young Knights player, "Forever 17" and a heart were spray-painted on the road in front of the bollards.
Witnesses said this was covered in black soon after the accident, but it's unclear who did so.
Photos appear to show that flowers placed at the site to mark the death were discarded in nearby bush.
Police are investigating the accident, including determining who owned the section of road and who erected the bollards.
The 17-year-old driver of the vehicle was taken to John Hunter Hospital after the accident with minor injuries.
He underwent mandatory testing.
No charges have been laid.
Police are also seeking to address public safety concerns on the road.
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