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Resurfacing programme

Road resurfacing is the way we protect the foundations of our roads and prevent potholes. It makes getting around the city – by bike, vehicle or on foot – safer and easier.

Every year we resurface 4-5% of our roads with hot mix asphalt or chip seal. With a total of approximately 600km of road network, we resurface approx. 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. 

We spend approximately $3 million each year on resurfacing roads. This is partly funded by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA). This funding partnership requires us to adhere to NZTA’s requirements for resealing roads. 

Planned work 2019/2020

This year’s Resurfacing Programme is starting in September 2019 and is expected to take 6 months. We will be resurfacing 60 roads covering approximately 20km: 14 km of hot mix and 6 km of chip seal. All works are weather dependent. 

If your road is scheduled to be resurfaced, our contractor will advise you in advance of the works. 

Following community concerns about the resurfacing of hot mix with chip seal, we have revised this year’s resurfacing programme. We will not be resurfacing hot mix roads with chip seal this financial year. We will review the Resealing Policy, specifically around the overlay of hot mix roads with chip seal, which will be done as part of Long Term Plan process. We will keep you informed on the outcomes.

Thank you

Our contractor will ensure any disruption is kept to a minimum. However, because of the nature of the work you may experience some minor delays and inconvenience. We thank you for your patience.

FAQs

The seal on a road is like paint on your house - it keeps water out of the structure underneath. Like paint, the seal breaks down over time and starts to let water in. 

When the surface of a road starts to break down it is time to resurface. The ideal time to resurface is just before any damage occurs, so your road may still look to be in reasonable condition when we complete resurfacing.

Generally, roads are resurfaced with a chip seal except where the traffic volumes or pavement conditions justify otherwise. Roads that have previously have asphalt surfacing may be resealed with chip seal. However, this will not occur in 2019/2020 while we review our Resealing Policy. Roads that already have a chip seal surface will be resealed with chip seal during this period.

Since 2011/2012, hot mix (asphalt) on low volume local roads is overlaid with chip seal instead of asphalt. The reason for this: costs. Asphalt is approximately five times more expensive than chip seal. Hot mix is typically replaced with hot mix on main, arterial (high volume) roads. 

The chip seal process

  1. Minor repairs are carried out prior to resealing.
  2. The contractor will contact residents and businesses in the street about a week before work begins.
  3. Hot bitumen is sprayed on the existing road surface and stone sealing chips are spread and rolled in to bed the chips into the bitumen.
  4. Traffic is then allowed back onto the road. There will be a temporary speed limit in place and warning signs to advise motorists and to protect the new surface while it is ‘settling down’. 
  5. After two or three days, excess chips are swept away and road marking repainted. Temporary traffic management will be removed at this time.
  6. As many as three additional sweeps may follow in the next six months.

The asphalt surfacing process

  1. Minor repairs are carried out prior to resealing.
  2. The contractor will contact residents and businesses in the street about a week before work begins.
  3. The old asphalt surface is removed.
  4. New asphalt is laid. This work may be done at night as these are generally streets with high traffic volumes.
  5. Traffic is not permitted to travel over the new surface until it has cooled down. The contractor will advise when the road is ready for traffic.
  6. After 2-3 days line markings, traffic loops and special surfaces are reinstated.
  7. Temporary traffic management is removed.

Resurfacing truck using stone chip

In the lead-up to resurfacing, our contractors will deliver a letter about a week before work starts. This gives us a chance to consider any feedback and make changes if necessary. For instance – if you have an event planned on the day we intend to seal then we may be able to change our plans to suit you.

When the work happens there will be trucks, rollers and workers using other equipment. Expect some dust and noise, particularly if we have to remove the top surface before the new seal goes on. 

New chip seal can be damaged by a car’s power steering, particularly at driveway entrances. If you back out and turn the wheel while you are sitting in the same spot the stone chip will ‘screw’ off the bitumen and damage the road. The bitumen-covered chip can then be tracked into properties or stick to your shoes. To reduce the risk of damage, keep your vehicle moving before turning the wheel. 

If bitumen covered chip is tracked onto your driveway you can remove it by spot cleaning with a little turpentine.

If your road is scheduled to be resurfaced, our contractor will advise you in advance of the works. When resurfacing is planned we ask you to park clear of the work area during work hours.

If vehicles are in the way on the day, they may be towed to a convenient parking spot nearby. After the work is completed, these are normally towed back to where they were found, or the nearest available park. If yours is not where you parked it, first check nearby streets before calling the contractor or Council Contact Centre on 07 577 7000. The contractor’s contact details will be on your roadworks notice.

The workers will be doing everything possible to make sure this work is completed safely. You can help by:

  • standing well back from any machinery and following any directions from the workers
  • warning your children of the dangers and making sure they take care
  • keeping pets away from the area while the work is in progress
  • avoiding walking on recently sealed surfaces, so you don’t trek bitumen or sticky stones from the site. If you can’t avoid it, make sure you check your shoes or take them off before you go inside. You may also want to check them before you get into your car.

Typically each site takes one day to resurface, but things like road markings may take 3 or 4 days to reinstate.

Council’s has a resealing policy, which requires the level of service for road reseals to be “fit for purpose” with the type of surfacing used being finally determined by an engineering assessment.

In general, this means that roads that are category 1, 2 and 3 are sealed in asphalt and category 4 and 5 roads are sealed with chip seal. 

The road categories are:

Type of road Category Type of reseal
Commercial and Industrial. 1A Asphalt
Tauranga City Centre, Mount Mainstreet area, and Greerton Village. 1B Asphalt
Arterial roads. These are roads that carry significant volumes of traffic and link major state highways, urban and commercial areas. 2 Asphalt
Collector roads. These are roads that carry moderate volumes of traffic and provide a connection between residential streets and the arterial network. Most collector roads in Tauranga have more than 10,000 vehicles use them a day. 3 Asphalt
Neighbourhood roads with greater than 200 vehicles per day. 4 Chip seal – except where there is a cul-de-sac head or an intersection with high wear and tear, or another valid engineering reason.
Neighbourhood roads with less than 200 vehicles per day. 5 Chip seal – except where there is a cul-de-sac head or an intersection with high wear and tear, or another valid engineering reason.

In special circumstances, exceptions to this policy may occur for engineering reasons.


Last Reviewed: 11/09/2019

Further information

For more information, please contact Calum McLean at Tauranga City Council via 07 577 7000.

 

 
 

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