As we are heading into summer, Tauranga’s residents will start noticing more roadworks happening throughout the city. The good weather and it being school holidays, makes it easier to get roadworks done. At this time of year there is an increase in road maintenance activity across the city as council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency undertake much needed roading repairs.
Tauranga City Council is responsible for approximately 600km of roads, 760 km of footpaths, cycle ways and pedestrian accessways. Council also manages and maintains 13,750 street lights and 13,000 road signs. These assets are growing in number and length year on year and we are committed to keeping them in good condition.
The Road Maintenance Programme includes works such as road surfacing, fixing potholes and larger road repairs, as well as footpath assessments and repairs, signs and line markings, and the maintenance of retaining walls and streetlights. The works on most of these pick up during the coming period and with the end of 2019 in sight, it’s also a good opportunity to look back at what council has done this year.
Road surfacing is carried out during the warmer months generally on a 10 to 15-year cycle. Every year we resurface 4-5% of our roads with hot mix asphalt or chip seal. With approximately 600km of road network, we resurface 25-30km per annum. This is to ensure a safe surface for vehicles by providing texture and to protect the underlying road pavement layers by waterproofing. An interesting fact is that the surface of the road can reach temperatures of above 50 degrees on warmer days, which can cause the tar in the surface to soften. If this occurs on your street, please contact council so that grit can be applied to cover the exposed tar.
Potholes and repairs
Potholes occur in the road surface from time to time and need to be repaired to sustain the serviceability of the road. In 2019 council undertook 350 pothole repairs and 80 larger repairs to the roads.
This year just over 1200 repairs were undertaken on Tauranga’s footpaths. In addition to these on-going footpath repairs, council undertakes a footpath network survey every two years. The 2018/2019 survey was completed in April/May 2019 and covered 100% of the footpaths in Tauranga. The aim of the survey is to identify faults on the footpaths and to prioritise works.
Photo: Footpath assessment scooter out on the streets of Tauranga
Signs and line markings
Unclear or missing signage and poor markings are detrimental for road safety. Within the Road Maintenance Programme council replaced close to 300 broken signs and covered 140km of line marking in 2019.
Council has 725 retaining walls within the road corridor. Within the maintenance programme the condition of the retaining walls is assessed and repairs are carried out on an as-needed basis.
In March this year council started replacing approximately 7000 streetlights in residential areas with light-emitting diodes (LED). LED lights are energy-efficient, produce less carbon emissions than standard street lights, require less maintenance, and offer overall better light quality. Council is making good progress with the replacement programme with 70% of the lights converted to LED. The programme is expected to be complete by early 2020.
Keeping the roads tidy
Besides all the maintenance work, it is Tauranga City Council’s responsibility to keep the roads clear of spillages and debris. In 2019 council undertook 450 jobs to clear waste and spillage, 200 jobs to clear accident debris and abandoned vehicles and 20 jobs to clear fallen trees.
To report damage or faults that fall under the Road Maintenance Programme please email email@example.com, call council on 07 577 7000 or if it is an emergency please call the NZ Police.