Reflective markings put on steel concrete bollards at the scene of a fatal accident in the Hunter Economic Zone have been removed.
The bollards remain in the middle of a private road in the industrial estate, despite a vehicle hitting them and claiming the life of a 17-year-old Newcastle Knights player.
Elijah Faalua, a Kurri junior who played in the Knights' Under 17s side this season, was thrown from the passenger seat in a single vehicle accident at the Pelaw Main site at about 11.15pm on April 8.
Reflective silver-striped paint was painted on the yellow bollards, while reflective silver tape was also stuck on them after the accident, pictures show.
New pictures of the site show the reflective paint has gone. They also show the reflective tape has been partly removed. Some of the tape was hanging off the bollards.
The long private road, which is at Pelaw Main, dips and narrows on the section of bridge where the bollards were erected about a month before the accident happened.
The road is used by the public, including workers in the industrial estate. It is known to attract drag racing and antisocial behaviour.
Motorists have said that the bridge and bollards can be difficult to negotiate, even while driving slowly.
The Newcastle Herald has several times contacted a company suspected of erecting the bollards, but was unable to gain any response.
In our latest query, we asked the company why steel concrete bollards were erected instead of bendable yellow and black bollards used on other roads. Again, we received no response.
The gates next to the bollards were welded open, but no one explained why. A welder was spotted at the site this week, raising questions about whether the gates may shut at certain times.
University of Newcastle academic Dr Cassandra Gauld conducts research in the applied psychology field of road safety.
"There should definitely be plenty of warning signs that the bollards are approaching, that the road narrows, and to reduce speed," said Dr Gauld, who previously worked at the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety in Queensland.
"If speeding is an issue on this road, perhaps other targeted countermeasures such as police presence or mobile speed cameras could better address this problem."
Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent said last week that the bollards were "dangerous". "It definitely needs to be made safer - whether it's signage or reduced speed," Cr Pynsent said.
"I would be concerned about someone else's life being lost," he said.
Cr Pynsent said whoever erected the bollards should "consult with road safety experts" like the professionals at the council.
Cr Pynsent said the council would "do whatever we can" to address the danger of the bollards.
The Herald has since asked Cr Pynsent whether he and council staff are planning to examine the site. "Unfortunately I cannot comment further due to the coronial inquiry," he said.