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From your Mayor - 2 March 2021

Mayor Anita Baker

Our road resealing programme is continuing this month, and you will see works under way across the city.

In 2018 the Council undertook a review of the way we resurface our roads because of some concern in the community that using chip seal over asphalt had compromised quality. We weighed up a range of alternative approaches but concluded that using chip seal, in most cases, remains the best way to enhance the life, and value for money, of our roads.

However, we’re always looking for ways to innovate, keep costs down and improve the durability of maintenance works. That’s why we’re deploying a new type of seal for busy intersections this year – a chip and sand seal combination (a type of Cape Seal), which looks lighter than standard chip seal. We’ve been trialling it for two years and it’s proving to reduce chip loss caused by turning vehicles. That makes it both resilient and economical, especially compared to asphalt which is often the only other, and much costlier, solution for busy intersections. The new seal can take a while to settle though, which is why you may see some temporary speed restrictions in place in affected areas.

The positive cost and quality outcomes from the new seal is attracting interest across the region, and we’re sharing trial results with other councils. Wellington City is especially keen.

At the Council, we maintain a roading network of around 251km and set priorities through a 30-year forward works programme, alongside an annual condition rating of the entire network, that assesses age, defects, maintenance costs and future maintenance risks. We have a long-term plan, in other words, that accounts for short-term contingencies.

Based on what we’ve seen to date, the new sealing solution offers a better and more cost-effective way to deliver improvements that will last the distance.

2 Mar 2021