Traffic and Transport
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Road Maintenance

Image for the Maintenance page.
This page contains information about how we maintain the district's roads.
Updated: 24/12/2013 10:12 a.m.

Maintaining sealed roads

Most of the sealed roads in the Whangarei district have a chip seal surface which is stone chips embedded in a layer of bitumen.


The seal on a road is like paint on your house - it keeps water out of the structure underneath. Like paint, the seal breaks down over time and starts to let water in.

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 your road may still look to be in good condition. We aim to keep it that way.

Resealing involves the following:  

  • minor repairs are carried out prior to resealing
  • the resealing 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 within 48 hours
  • as many as three additional sweeps may follow in the next six months. 


Road renewal covers the reconstruction and strengthening of the road surface and layers and can include realignment and widening.

Road renewal is undertaken when road surfaces become potholed, cracked, develop corrugations and rutting or the road subsides.

All roads reach a point where it is more economic to renew them than to continue to repair. 

A programme of resealing and renewal work is usually determined at the beginning of each financial year and contracts are awarded through a public tendering system.

Drainage improvements are usually undertaken as part of road renewal works.

To view information about the roads which are scheduled for resealing and / or renewal, follow the link below. 

Maintaining unsealed roads

Routine maintenance of unsealed roads generally includes strengthening and smoothing when the road surface fails. Failure includes potholes, rutting and corrugation.

Drainage improvements are usually carried out in conjunction with both strengthening and smoothing.

Ratepayer subsidised seal extension

Council supports a ratepayer subsidised seal extension programme each year for low volume rural residential roads.

The following criteria are used as the basis for the acceptance of applications:

  • applications to be made the year preceding the work to allow funding to be provided in our estimates
  • applications in any one year to be prioritised taking into account as one of the criteria the degree they support our overall seal extension strategy and programme
  • the priorities list of applications to be submitted to the Infrastructure and Services Committee for approval
  • all applications to be supported by at least 80% of the landowners in the area of benefit
  • Council’s contribution towards the cost of the work to be limited to its share of the initial widening and pavement strengthening
  • ratepayers to pay the full cost of sealing the road after the pavement is strengthened.

Dust coat seals

Dust coat seals for isolated residential houses on unsealed roads will be considered as ratepayer subsidised seal extensions, subject to the following additional criteria:

  • applications will be considered for funding if the road in question is unlikely to be included in the seal extension programme within the next five years
  • applications in any one year will be prioritised according to the severity of the dust problem and the volume and type of traffic on the road
  • ratepayers will be required to contribute $2,000 (plus GST) or 20% of the upgrading and sealing costs per 100m of sealing (for a typical length of 100m of seal per dwelling).

Roading structures

Routine inspections are completed on roading structures throughout the district and a schedule of replacement and renewals is developed.

Structures include:

  • bridges
  • large drainage structures eg culverts
  • foot bridges
  • fords
  • bus shelters
  • retaining walls
  • guardrails and railings
  • pedestrian under/over passes
  • cattle underpasses.

Council does not own any cattle underpasses although they are inspected as part of the structures inspection programme and maintenance issues are passed onto the owner to attend to.

Cyclepaths and footpaths

The cycle path and footpath maintenance plan is based on routine inspection and programmed maintenance.

It is completed as part of the pavement, surface and drainage contract for each area and includes kerb and channel repair where required.

Footpaths and cycle paths that link key community areas and access to community services, such as hospitals and schools are considered priority routes.

High volume areas such as the central business area of Whangarei are also considered a priority, particularly to ensure that  physically disabled people are not disadvantaged in accessing services in the city. 

For information about our Walking and Cycling Strategy, follow the link below.  

The following page contains information about  maintenance of roadside verges, trees and weeds.



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