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Source: Whangarei District Council

This page contains a brief news story about gravel roads not being able to be graded due to the lack of recent rain. Grading can begin again after sufficient rainfall.

Updated: 19/03/2020 3:01 p.m.

​Taking matters into your own hands to smooth out gravel roads could make things much worse than they are, say Council’s roading engineers.

“Cutting deeper to remove corrugations while the road is dry only makes a difference for a few days, and usually causes an increase in complaints,” he said.

A road grading machine

“We grade roads when there is enough water in the soil beneath the road surface to ensure graded gravel can bond with the road’s sub surface and make a longer-wearing crust. When there is no moisture in the ground repairs don’t bond and the surface can get worse than it was.

“We sent crews out to work on some roads after the recent light rain, but found the water had not penetrated the ground at all.”

“If grading cuts deeply to smooth out bumps and exposes the clay underneath, it will get very soft, slippery and dangerous when the rain comes, and be more costly to repair.

“We have to spread our roadworks resources out across the whole District so we have gravel road rehab on a schedule – if everything packs in when it rains, all at once, all over our District, because of non-controlled road grading, it will make the roads worse and take us longer to get around the entire network.”

MIL OSI