More than 90 kilometres of Whangārei’s sealed roads will get fresh surfaces this summer, and four kilometres of new sealed road will be added.
Council has already started seal extensions, road upgrades and re-surfacing, making the most of the coming season of dryer weather and longer days.
Major roading projects have also kicked off for the summer roadworks season with Council widening Porowini Avenue intersections at Tarewa Road and Maunu Road and the New Zealand Transport Agency working to improve the intersection of Tarewa Road and State Highway one near Tarewa Park.
Almost $24 million will be invested in transport maintenance and improvements between now and 1 July next year. This includes new road sealing at Wright Road for $1 million; $1 million in road drainage improvements; $1 million to repair and replace structures; $4 million to rehabilitate sealed roads; and just over $4 million of re-seals.
Unsealed roads will also benefit from $800,000 Investment while $6.6 million of minor improvements will be completed across the network.
The rest of the work to be completed during the year, and over the next three years and decade is outlined in Council’s Long Term Plan.
Planned major roading projects include:
a new roundabout at Springs Flat which is predicted to bring growth and development to the area;
improvements to the southern entrance way to the city;
the four-laning of Riverside Drive (2024-25);
intersection improvements for One Tree Point Road (2021-22) and
the upgrading of the intersection of Kioreroa Road and Port Road (2021-22).
Why seal and re-seal?
The seal on a road is like paint on a house - it keeps the structure underneath dry, secure and sound.
But, like paint, it doesn’t last forever and requires maintenance and replacement to do its job properly.
Wear and tear, changes in temperature, rain and underlying ground conditions all mean the surface must be constantly maintained and repaired. There is no such thing as “once and for all” in the transport world.
My road looks fine
When the surface of a street starts to break down it is time to reseal. The ideal time to reseal is just before any damage occurs, so a road may still look to be in good condition. We aim to keep it that way.
Didn’t they just do that bit?
Sometimes it can be frustrating to see road repairs happening in the same spots repeatedly.
This is not because the road works are failing, it is because road surfaces are built in layers and that requires a number of repair stages be done in the right sequence.
Rather than doing all the stages in one spot, involving all the materials and equipment to be taken there, Council goes over the whole network doing one stage, then goes over again, doing the next stage and so on, until it is all done. It is more cost efficient this way.
The chip seal process:
Minor repairs are carried out prior to resealing.
The contractor will contact residents in the street about a week before work begins.
Hot bitumen is sprayed and stone sealing chips are spread and rolled in.
Excess sealing chips are swept away and road marking is reinstated a few days after sealing.
As many as three additional sweeps may follow in the next six months.
Sometimes contractors carry out staged repairs on roads one year, before the same section of road is resealed a year later.
The drier months with longer days are better for building roads because the different layers that make up the roads stick better to each other when they can be kept dry. Longer daylight hours also mean more work can be done each day without lights, which is safer and less expensive.