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Maintenance on Taranaki state highways continues through winter

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Work to keep Taranaki state highways in a safe condition doesn’t stop just because its winter. Crews will be out in force over the coming months monitoring the state highway network and making temporary repairs, including filling potholes and asphalting sections of highway.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency System Manager Ross I’Anson says recent winter weather has led to a large number of potholes forming on some of the region’s busiest routes.

“Water does to roads what sugar does to your teeth – it causes our road surfaces to decay and potholes to form. When water penetrates the road surface through cracks, tyre action and weather can quickly turn these cracks into potholes.

“Some of the worst affected areas include SH3A and SH3 between New Plymouth and Patea. Long sections of these highways are due for rehabilitation or reseals over the next four to five years and in the meantime, we will make sure these highways fulfil the important function of moving people and goods safely and efficiently,” says Mr I’Anson. 

Waka Kotahi plans to undertake a significant amount of work to address the condition of these roads within the next four years. In the coming weeks crews will be asphalting some of the worst affected areas to create a more resilient surface over the winter until permanent repairs can be undertaken in the summer.

“We are planning for significant renewals works next year and a large repair programme for both SH3 and SH3A.

“Over the coming months we’ll install signs to let the community know which roads we’ll be renewing next year. We’ll also install warning signs in areas where there’s a high risk of potholes forming so drivers know to take extra care and adjust their speeds.

“Taranaki’s volcanic ground conditions, coupled with significant groundwater and rainfall, mean the road surface isn’t as resilient as in other regions. It is a challenging environment, but we are working hard to create a safe and well-maintained road network,” Mr I’Anson says.

“We are working with our contractors to address issues on the network, but this is not a quick process. Motorists will see an improvement year on year as we carry out the renewals programmes.”

Mr I’Anson encourages motorist to drive to the conditions and be kind and respectful to roadworkers who are working long hours in all weather conditions to ensure the region’s roads stay safe.

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