Council provides unsealed or metal roads for about 40% of the District’s 1800km roads.
These roads vary considerably in condition because they are exposed to sun, rain and wind. They pothole when wet, and when dry, loose metal, corrugations and dust form on the surface.
Routine maintenance of unsealed roads generally includes strengthening and smoothing the road surface as well as improving drainage.
Grading is timed to take place after a good period of rain and there is a high moisture content in the upper 50mm of the road surface.
As not all roads can be done in the short period available before they dry out again, they are prioritised according to their condition.
Why we don’t grade during dry weather
We don’t grade when roads are dry as this only provides temporary relief for a few days and then the surface is worse than before. This is because the grading creates loose metal on the hard surface which does not compact if the surface is not soft.
If a road becomes dangerous or impassable, even when driving to the conditions, a minimal amount of grading can be carried out to provide temporary relief.
We share your frustrations during summer and ask people to be patient, drive to the conditions and to keep reporting dangerous areas to us.