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COVID-19 sends summer resealing season into overtime

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Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency says it’s completed a late summer resealing programme in Northland that’s been disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and changing weather.

Waka Kotahi Northland System Manager Jacqui Hori-Hoult says there are a couple of sites on the network that will require remediation at the start of next summer.

“We can’t fix them now because the weather has turned, but we’ll be back in summer to make them right.”                           

“Motorists may notice that in places the road surface is a little rough and noisy to drive over. It’s because the stones in the newly-laid chip seal have been stripped out, exposing the bitumen underlay.”

“For safety purposes we have reduced speed limits in the short term as the team looks to mitigate the effects of the exposed road surface. It’s still waterproofed and is not expected to break up or develop pot holes through the winter.” 

The resealing programme was shut down during the COVID-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown as it wasn’t an essential service. Nearly 5 weeks of good summer weather were lost when resealing would have been in full swing.

“When our crews returned to work under Alert Level 3 restrictions, we decided to press ahead with resealing at 11 sites to ensure the safety and resilience of the state highway network through winter. However, the cooler temperatures have had an effect on the seal.”

Jacqui Hori-Hoult says the worst affected area is on SH1 at Hikurangi around Gilby Ave and there are also patches on SH1 south of Wellsford where there are higher traffic volumes.

“These summer works were part of the biggest maintenance programme Waka Kotahi has undertaken for the last decade. Our reseal programme has been successful and over the entire construction season we’ve completed 190 lane kilometres of new seal.”

“Waka Kotahi thanks motorists for their patience and understanding while we carry out this work to improve the road, increase safety and make everyone’s journeys more enjoyable.”

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