Source: New Zealand Transport Agency
Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says recent road rebuilding work on State Highway 2 at Bay View in Napier does not meet the expectations it has for work on its state highways and will need to be rectified.
The works included rebuilding the road base, sealing the surface and line marking on the section of SH2 between Rogers Road and Onehunga Road. Work has been underway since late January.
Central North Island Regional Maintenance and Operations Manager Jaclyn Hankin says Waka Kotahi is aware of concerns about the repairs and apologises to local residents and those who travel through Bay View regularly.
“While we acknowledge the difficulties caused by an unseasonably wet construction season, the impacts of COVID-19 on staffing, high traffic volumes with no alternative routes, and the need to maintain traffic in both directions on a busy section of state highway, both Waka Kotahi and our contractor for the works, Higgins, agree the finished quality of the work falls short of what we expect and will need to be rectified, at the contractor’s cost.
“Unfortunately, as this remedial work requires warm, dry weather, it will need to wait until our next spring/summer construction season, later this year.
“Our contractors will continue to monitor the road over winter and it is likely that further temporary repairs will be needed to help ensure the safety of the road until the permanent repair work can be undertaken during the warmer, drier spring and summer months.
“Water does to roads what sugar does to your teeth – it causes our road surfaces to decay and potholes to form. When water penetrates the road surface through cracks, tyre action and weather can quickly turn these cracks into potholes. New Zealand’s roads are mostly ‘flexible pavements’, they literally flex as heavy vehicles roll over them. Any water in the pavements acts as a lubricant, allowing the stones in the pavement to move more than they should and potholes then form more quickly.
“We will be working with the contractors closely next construction season to ensure this work is completed as a priority and to the required standard. This will also incorporate a range of quality assurance testing, including vibration tests to ensure the repair has not resulted in an increase in vibrations caused by traffic for surrounding properties, which was a concern raised by nearby residents prior to the works starting.
“We know local residents and people who travel through the area regularly will be frustrated and upset, but we also know they want – and deserve – a safe, fit-for-purpose road. We are 100 per cent committed to ensuring this is what they get and have demonstrated we won’t accept anything less.”