Fri 25 Jan 19
Summer resealing programme in full swing.
Ruapehu’s local road resealing programme will see almost 23km of roads being resealed at 22 different sites over the 2018/19 summer road works season.
The largest area of resealing has been on Hikumutu Road between Sunshine and Tunakotekote Roads at 3.5km while the smallest are around 100m at bridge approaches on Kirikau Valley, Pongahuru, Makokomiko and Turakina Valley Roads.
Team Leader Land Transport Andrea Nicol said that Council takes a ‘whole of life - least cost’ approach toward managing the local road network.
“Under this approach we schedule resealing to a road before any damage occurs or is apparent,” she said.
“If we leave it too late the seal starts to break down and it lets water in which speeds up the rate of deterioration and we end up with pot holes and other issues.
Ruapehu roads are generally resealed with a chip seal.
The process begins with minor repairs being carried out a couple of months prior to resealing.
The actual resealing process involves hot bitumen being sprayed and then stone sealing chips being spread and rolled in.
Traffic is then allowed on the road to bed the new seal.
Excess sealing chips are swept away within a week or so followed by road marking before the any temporary traffic management controls are removed allowing traffic to return to normal.”
Ms Nicol noted that on average a newly sealed road can be expected to last around 14 years.
“With around 460km of sealed roads in the district the aim is to reseal around 30km of roads each summer within a budget of around $1.1m.
Unfortunately funding pressures over the last few years such as the fluctuating cost of bitumen has meant that we have struggled to meet this target.
Last year Council successfully appealed to the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) to have our Funding Assistance Rate (FAR) which determines the co-investment rate we receive on road works increase to the maximum 72% from this financial year.
The increase in our FAR means that Council can now spend an additional $2m per annum on outstanding road repairs and maintenance without adding to the rates burden.
Council and our contractor partners are now working to step up our road works programme.
To give our local contractors confidence to invest in equipment and people for the long term Council has amended our contract agreements to three years in line with NZTA funding arrangements.
We want our local road contractors to know that they can rely on Council to keep them fully employed and to keep us as a priority customer.
If people want more information on scheduled road works including mowing please see Council’s website.