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Source: New Zealand Transport Agency

Contractors working on Evans St/ SH1 in Timaru, on planned summer maintenance works between Waimataitai St and Hobbs St, have struck significant problems while resurfacing this heavily trafficked route in recent weeks.

As a result of unexpectedly soft ground conditions which caused the first asphalting attempt to fail mid-October, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and its contractor have been exploring other solutions and have undertaken further investigation of the sub-surface. A lasting solution is currently being finalised, aiming to reopen the work site to the asphalting crew in the next few weeks, says Scott McKenzie, Senior Network Manager for Waka Kotahi in Timaru.

Work had been taking place at night with road cones separating off the failed sections of seal. The speed through these areas has been reduced under temporary traffic management, to maintain a safe route for road users.

“This is a particularly challenging and unusual situation and we have been keeping residents who live near this site informed as we receive more information. We understand that it is very frustrating for the work to be delayed in this way.

“The contractor and specialist advisors are undertaking investigation and working on a solution currently to ensure works are progressed as soon as possible. Waka Kotahi intends to ensure a quality, long-lasting, finished pavement product,” says Mr McKenzie.

Two other areas of SH1 in Timaru are also causing Waka Kotahi short-term issues.

“There are pavement and surfacing issues around either side of the Grants Road intersection where Waka Kotahi is keeping in touch with Timaru District Council as their water pipes are under the surface and are about to be replaced.  The Council has this work scheduled for this summer.

“We plan to work with Council to complete permanent highway surface repairs once pipe replacement is complete. In the meantime, we are nursing these areas along, or keeping them coned off, until we can do a proper, long-lasting repair. A temporary holding repair has given way due to the ground conditions and been coned off in the meantime.”

McDonald Road to Grants Road section of Evans St, SH1, has also shown failures in the recently patch re-sealed highway surface, where shallow pipes are being upgraded under the road surface.

The second area causing short-term delays for road users is the Showgrounds intersection and culvert at the bottom of the hill on SH1.

“At the Showgrounds SH1/Grants Road new commercial subdivision intersection, Waka Kotahi is working through the design with the developer to progress the intersection’s final design solution and to ensure that consent conditions are being managed. 

“Again as at MacDonald Road to Grants Road, until more permanent repairs to the road surface can be done, holding repairs are the only option. It needs to be acknowledged that these will only have a short life to maintain the surface in the meantime, to keep the road open and safe to travel in either direction.

“Once the permanent intersection, culvert infrastructure replacement and pavement renewal works are undertaken, permanent road repairs will be possible. We appreciate residents, road users and the community’s patience while these matters are dealt with and addressed,” says Mr McKenzie.