A section of SH2 in Clareville where the chip reseal has failed. PHOTO/ELISA VORSTER
Recently-completed roadworks on State Highway 2 between at Clareville has left road users and residents less than impressed after several sections of the chip seal lifted within days.
The works contracted by New Zealand Transport Agency to improve the road surface had already caused delays on the section of highway measuring 2.5km between Clareville and Carterton earlier this month.
Now further delays could be expected while an attempt is made to patch up the “early chip loss” on sections of the re-laid road.
Carterton resident Malcolm Cox who travels along SH2 every day for work described the reseal work as “shocking”.
The road had begun to deteriorate just days after the work was completed, leaving large bare areas on the road.
“I called NZTA last week and they said we’ll get someone to look into it,” Mr Cox said.
He was aware of the message from NZTA relayed to the public via the Carterton District Council Facebook page, which stated contractors were to return last weekend to carry out repairs.
“But they’re not redoing the whole stretch like they should be – they’ve only patched up certain parts of the road.
“They’re doing the same thing down Ngaumutawa Rd – there’s lumps and bumps and potholes all over it and they’re patching it up.
“You can’t fix just one crack.”
He was also concerned that redoing the botched job meant taxpayers were forking out for two substandard jobs which left the road unsafe and the loose chips damaging vehicles.
However, NZTA have since confirmed any costs incurred by repeat repairs due to failed works were met by the contractor and not by itself or the taxpayer.
Other road users had also expressed concerns via social media, with many complaining of damage to their windscreens due to the poor chip seal.
On Monday morning, the road still had a 50km/h speed reduction in place, with large sections of new seal missing from the road and nobody seen working on repairs.
“We as a community deserve better,” Mr Cox said.
NZTA regional transport systems manager Mark Owen said last week’s extreme weather was a contributing factor in the failure of the reseal.
“Unfortunately, the widening and resealing of a section of SH2 through Clareville suffered early chip loss, due to the chips not adhering to the binder.
“There were a few aspects that contributed to this failure, but mainly it was down to the extremely cold weather which hit last week during the bedding-in period.
“Contractors were out on Friday and over the weekend repairing and monitoring this stretch of road.
“We anticipate further repairs will be required and these will be completed early this week.”
However, Mr Cox questioned why inadequate road repairs were becoming more common and cited the SH2 passing lane outside Clareville as another example of a recent reseal which had since deteriorated.
“What’s the problem? Are they not getting the mixtures right?
“There are roads from 30 years ago that are better than this.”
In the meantime, commuters between the two towns could continue to expect a slower and bumpier ride than usual until the damage is fixed.