Rain brings summer work woes

Published on 18 January 2023

Temporary road repair undertaken during summer.

Our teams are ready to get cracking on the summer’s jobs like mowing reserves and sports fields, repairing potholes and re-sealing roads… when the rain eases.

“This has been one of the soggiest construction seasons in memory,” said Council’s Chief Executive Simon Weston.

“The good news is that we have been able to complete rehabilitation on Harris Road, Kioreroa Road, Kokopu Block Road and Vinegar Hill Road – almost 70% of the programme. Reseals are lagging behind because of the rain.

“November is usually the driest month of the year, but this November was one of the wettest ever. It has filled up the rivers and dams, but it’s not so good for roading. Some years our contractors can get all the way through the reseal programme before Christmas, but this year we are about 40% behind, simply because of the weather.”

He said summer is usually the best season for roadworks. The days are long so we can squeeze more work hours into a week. It’s warm and the ground is dry which gives us good results that last well.

“We should be out putting long-lasting, permanent repairs in potholes that got temporary repairs in winter. It has been very frustrating, but we are ready to get out there the moment conditions improve – to make the most of any clear weeks we get.”

Mr Weston said colleagues were itching to get to work in the parks and reserves area as well.

“After the spring flush the ground normally hardens, grass growth slows and mowing is straight-forward. This summer plenty of rain combined with long warm days have grass growing even faster than in spring. It also means the ground is too sodden to mow – we don’t want to bog machines or ruin playing surfaces or lawns.

“That said, we are getting onto these jobs whenever we can and doing things a bit differently sometimes, and looking forward to a better season next year.”