Summer road sealing programme to provide better journeys across district

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Published: 22 Nov 2018

Timaru District Council annual summer road maintenance season has got off to a good start with crews completing a number of resurfacing projects throughout the district.

This first projects being undertaken are those north of the Opihi River, including roads in Temuka, and Geraldine and other rural roads.

Projects south of the Opihi, including Timaru, will be undertaken later in the year and early next year.

People can view planned projects online with a new interactive map, which shows the planned and completed work throughout the district for the current year, it also gives a good overview of how our roading system is maintained and the ways in which we prioritise certain roads for renewal.

The map is available at:

Land Transport Manager, Andrew Dixon said that this map offered people a good understanding of the amount of work being undertaken throughout the district and the decisions that were made on individual roads.

“Council staff and engineers assess a number of risk and factors, and apply this across the whole Timaru District roading network,” he said.

“The Timaru District currently has 955km of sealed roads and over 1,700km of roads in total. Having a set budget and constraints on the availability of contractors requires us to prioritise.

“At times road works will be delayed due to programme clashes. For example Old North Road in Timaru or Domain Avenue, Temuka, has been left off the road reconstruction list for some years to allow the installation of water and sewer mains prior to reconstructing the road.

“These delays can be frustrating but digging up a newly constructed road is inefficient (expensive), affects the long term useful life of the road and is not a good use of ratepayers’ funds.”

Summer is the best time to resurface roads, particularly those being chipsealed, as the warm temperatures and dry air helps the new seal to stick to the existing road surface.

“If the ground temperature is cold the new surface hardens too quickly for the stones in the chip seal to embed properly, which shortens the quality and life of the road,” said Andrew.

“Loose chip will be left onsite for a number of days following the application of a chip seal.  This is left to ensure that the chip embeds well and that the best possible result and life of seal is achieved.

“People are likely to see roading crews working throughout the district in the coming months, and drivers need to do their bit to ensure our contractors get home safe every night.

“This means slowing down around roadworks and freshly sealed roads, following instructions from roading crews and being patient with any delays.”

Homeowners on resealed streets are asked to look out for letterbox drops with more information and may need to ensure residents and visitors leave their shoes at the door to prevent bitumen tracking inside houses.

“We’ve got a relatively short window of opportunity to get the work done each year, so it can sometimes feel like there are roadworks everywhere, but programmed resurfacing work like this is key to ensuring better journeys for everyone,” said Andrew.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021