Top of the South drivers, get ready for state highway chip sealing works


Drivers in the top of the South Island region will see multiple chip sealing sites over the coming weeks as the state highway summer maintenance programme gets into high gear.

Rob Service, System Manager – Top of the South says summer, when the weather is warmer, is the perfect time of year to get this sort of road resurfacing work done.

“We do temporary fixes when the weather is wet and cold over winter. Permanent repairs need warm/dry weather to be effective, and this is why drivers always see a lot of resurfacing work done over summer.”

Work locations between now and Christmas:

  • SH6 - Kohatu
  • SH6 - Foxhill
  • SH60 - Takaka Hill
  • SH6 - south of Motupiko
  • SH6 - Glenhope
  • SH6 - north of Glenhope
  • SH63 - sites either side of St. Arnaud township
  • SH6 - between Hope Saddle and SH63 Kawatiri Junction
  • SH6 - Whangamoa Saddle
  • SH6 - sites each side of Murchison township
  • SH6 - sites each side of SH63 St Arnaud-Kawatiri intersection
  • SH65 - four sites on Shenandoah Highway
  • SH62 - various sites
  • SH63 - various sites

Mr Service says chip seal sites are spread throughout the region. For Nelson/Tasman, this includes locations south of Foxhill on State Highway 6, through to the Murchison area, including areas on State Highway 65 and State Highway 63 in the Saint Arnaud area. In Marlborough, crews will be working on State Highway 62 and State Highway 63.

“Road users travelling to the West Coast and further south over summer can also expect to come upon chip seal operations during their journeys.”

Mr Service says resealing and resurfacing is essential to keeping the roads in tip-top shape.

“Water is to roads as fizzy drinks are to teeth. Once it gets through the road surface, it causes all sorts of problems, and that’s when we see things like potholes and other damage occurring.”

“A road may still look like it is in good condition before works begin. But that does not mean chip sealing is not needed,” Mr Service says.

Stop/go controls will be in place while daytime chip seal work is underway. Temporary speed limits will apply day and night and will remain in place until the new chip has had a chance to bed in. Crews will then sweep clear any loose chip and re-apply road markings.

Mr Service says 30 km/h limits are in place for good reason. “If people drive too fast, they will damage the road surface, meaning the work has to be redone – creating even more travel delays. Stone chips can also flick up and damage other vehicles.”

“On the flip side, driving too slowly can result in bitumen and road chips hitching a ride on your car.

Sticking to the posted speed limit also helps to keep everyone, including our road workers, safe.”

Mr Service says it is also essential road crews are respected while they work hard to fix the roads.

“The last thing we want is for our workers to cop abuse, be injured, or worse. Threats against our road crew staff won’t be tolerated and will be reported to police.”

“We understand people don’t want to be held up when they’re on the roads, and delays from road works can be frustrating. However, the work is essential and helps keep our highways safe,” Mr Service says