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Incompetent road resealing around Canberra

By M 20 February 2013 45

The recent spate of resealing of Canberra’s roads highlights the incompetence of our Government and their cheaply paid contractors.

Gone are the days where they would spend some time and effort properly resealing a section of road – digging it up, laying a proper road-base, then sealing it with a nice mix of asphalt and tar, and finally finishing it off by laying down the lines. Now we are forced to drive what is no more than a gravel road for months after they “reseal” a road. Basically all they are doing now is spraying down something that resembles tar (with far less stick) then dump truckloads of gravel on top. Don’t worry about sweeping the excess gravel off… the road users will destroy their cars doing that for you. Not to mention opening the road immediately after it is finished, even before the tar has time to dry.

Will the Government pay for the cleaning and repairs from the tar spray, gravel chips, and (often) cracked windscreens they are creating? Of course not, because that will eat into their budget – just the same as hiring a competent contractor. So we’ll continue to suffer with half-assed jobs.

When will people wake up and realise that motorists care for their cars and we don’t want their rubbish efforts at sealing a road ruining them!


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45 Responses to
Incompetent road resealing around Canberra
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wildturkeycanoe 3:32 pm 10 Oct 13

Nice way to revive an old story with the advent of similar goings on at the moment! It might take a while to get a response to your letter so I will wait another few months before seeing this pop up again.
Good on ya for doing something about it too! Beats stuffing around on forums whining….

tim_c 2:54 pm 10 Oct 13

Jere13 said :

It’s actually getting worse.

I would honestly rather hotmix roads with the odd pot hole than chipseal everywhere.

No, in ACT we get the worst of both – they put rubbish chip seal (or should that be “shard seal”?) down, and then install inverted potholes (aka. speedbumps).

magiccar9 1:37 pm 10 Oct 13

Jere13 said :

I’m writing a letter to Shane Rattenbury on the poor quality of our road sealing in the ACT today.

Will post the result on here.

Marvellous, I like your thinking!

Felix the Cat 12:56 pm 10 Oct 13

Jere13 said :

I’m writing a letter to Shane Rattenbury on the poor quality of our road sealing in the ACT today.

Will post the result on here.

He will claim the budget for road resealing is $Xmillion and therefore they can only do so many roads with that amount of money and that they need to be done with the chipseal just to do this many.

They did a pretty reasonable job (eventually) resealing parts of Gungahlin Dr near Mitchell a few months ago using what looks like a cross between smooth bitumen and the coarse loose gravel. The weather kept stuffing the job up and it took probably 3 times as long as it should of. they should of waited until now when it’s warmer and less rain to do it rather than try and do it in the middle of winter.

Jere13 12:16 pm 10 Oct 13

I’m writing a letter to Shane Rattenbury on the poor quality of our road sealing in the ACT today.

Will post the result on here.

Jere13 5:07 pm 20 May 13

It’s actually getting worse.

I would honestly rather hotmix roads with the odd pot hole than chipseal everywhere.

rhino 12:27 pm 26 Feb 13

Also, since the government is really just meant to effectively be a collection of people from the community organising things centrally and efficiently, they really should be taking into account all the negative costs to the community, not just to the government. I mean since it’s supposed to be people representing my interests, they should be taking into account the wear and tear on cars, tyres, windscreens etc as part of the cost. They shouldn’t see themselves as just doing a job with the money we give them and trying to do it the cheapest for their budget. It’s supposed to be the cheapest for the community as a whole. So if it saves them a little money off their budget but it costs millions more per year in tyre wear, accidents, suspension wear and tear or wasted time etc, then that should be taken into account. If it increased tyre wear just 5% for 50,000 people, then that is a big dollar amount of extra cost to the community that should be considered.

rhino 12:08 pm 26 Feb 13

I have definitely noticed some perfectly fine roads being “resurfaced” (or whatever the correct term is) and they were worse after. While other roads are full of pot holes and seeing no work for quite some time. They definitely need to just evaluate all the roads and work out what needs fixing when. I remember horsepark drive was so smooth and nice. It was in great condition. Then they resurfaced it and it’s this noisy rough surface now. It required road works for quite a while and probably cost an arm and a leg and the result was a negative. Whereas westbound on flemington road feels like you can drive over it about 50 times before needing to replace some suspension bushings. Or else you can look like a drunkard swerving left and right frantically and into the bike lane to try and avoid them. I recall a few years ago seeing roadworks on flemington several times and I’m fairly sure that included that same part. So I don’t know what they did with the road then, but it obviously lasted a very short time and was horribly ineffective.

Jethro 5:44 am 26 Feb 13

OLydia said :

troll-sniffer said :

Love these rants based on limited knowledge (even more limited than mine in this case). Want the gubmnt to do the full replacement job rather than this method? Sure. Your rates would increase by maybe 50% per annum across the board to pay for it but I’m sure you’ll get widespread support from ratepayers. Not me though.

Troll-sniffer, I think you are the troll.

No, we don’t want the first class, bells and whistles type of road sealing. What we want is what’s available elsewhere. No, this spray down of black sticky stuff covered with tonnes of gravel which is expected to be driven into the so called tar by passing cars is just a cheap Z grade reseal. I preferred the original surface.

This.

If the maintenance work results in a worse road than what was there in the first place, it is as good as useless.

bundah 11:29 pm 25 Feb 13

I seem to recall Kate Carnell saying many moons ago that since self govt the expenditure on road repair/upgrade was less than half in real terms compared to the open cheque book approach under Commonwealth administration.

Now ‘if’ that has been the trend over the last decade or so and it certainly appears that way given the state of our roads then it’s not hard to see why we have the status quo.

bundah 11:07 pm 25 Feb 13

Pork Hunt said :

I said it before and I’ll say it again.

When the fcuk will they do something with Wentworth Ave between Hely St and Telopea Park?

Exactly and not to mention the synchronisation of the traffic lights,however i suspect the answer is when hell freezes over!

Tetranitrate 10:12 pm 25 Feb 13

JimCharles said :

SNIP

My god that is depressing. What the hell is happening to society when essential maintenance is botched or nonexistent? Same thing with health infrastructure and training – we’re just winging it day by day, year by year, blithely approaching the retirement of baby-boomer cohort nurses with no real plan now how on earth we’re going to replace them.

What ever happened to governments responsibly managing essential services? It’s not a partisan thing or specific to any country, the same thing is happening all over the english-speaking world, if not further abroad. Everything is just being run down with no thought for the future.

OLydia 10:06 pm 25 Feb 13

troll-sniffer said :

Love these rants based on limited knowledge (even more limited than mine in this case). Want the gubmnt to do the full replacement job rather than this method? Sure. Your rates would increase by maybe 50% per annum across the board to pay for it but I’m sure you’ll get widespread support from ratepayers. Not me though.

Troll-sniffer, I think you are the troll.

No, we don’t want the first class, bells and whistles type of road sealing. What we want is what’s available elsewhere. No, this spray down of black sticky stuff covered with tonnes of gravel which is expected to be driven into the so called tar by passing cars is just a cheap Z grade reseal. I preferred the original surface.

JimCharles 9:38 pm 25 Feb 13

JC said :

dph said :

I know absolutely nothing about resealing or resurfacing roads.

Most of the time, it seems very unnecessary to me. We have by far, the best roads in the country. I don’t understand the constant need to reseal or resurface our roads.

Umm it is called maintenance and things like read resealing is what generally in good shape. Without it you would have to wait until they really deteriorate before you can justify resurfacing with hot mix. This is what happens on busier roads in Sydney but happens faster due to heavier traffic loads. Or you reseal like we do, sure for a short time the loose stones are a bugger and yes they are noisier but I would rather my rates be spent elsewhere rather than paving with gold like some want.

They started this lark in the UK about 20 years ago when the money to do the job properly started disappearing.
It’s OK resealing a surface course before it cracks, but using that method to smooth out a surface that’s already deteriorating is not a good idea. Once the sub-base is exposed and moving, the road breaks up. Then your 15 yr estimated life (which might be true here…it was about 5 years in the UK with the incredible wear and the water seepage) drops by about 2/3….so they have to repeat the exercise more and more regularly.
What happens is that the road keeps on rising until it reaches the top of the kerb, and the drains end up being far lower and more dangerous….and the road is still a pile of crap.
Meanwhile, your manageable 30yr maintenance plan condenses and gets pushed backwards until there’s far too much to do each year and you reach the state where nearly everything needs doing at once, so it’s impossible. You’ve moved budgets elsewhere and thus proved you didn’t need the money….but try going back and asking for a billion dollars in one go and see where it gets you
Then the potholes start and you end up being forced to spend a prohibitive amount on potholes, which weakens the road around it so you get more potholes. UK road contractors have successfully pushed up the price of fixing a pothole to about $600 a pop, and they still can’t keep up with the demand which is growing due to crap like tar spray and chip.
If you get potholes, your base is moving and you can only solve it by ripping the whole lot up and relaying a stable base, so the final job when they have to scrape it all off plus hundreds of extra tons of tar spray and chip becomes prohibitively expensive…..so expensive that they just cannot do it.
I watched a documentary about the state of the roads in the county of Gloucestershire. …just full of potholes and this naff surfacing. At the current rate of resurfacing roads properly, some residential roads were not due to be resurfaced for another 250 years…..so basically, it’s never going to happen. A slippery and irresponsible slope to get on if you don’t need to do it. Biting the bullet and just using good old asphalt is money well spent in the long run.

keithjanderson 7:22 pm 25 Feb 13

I had assumed that the windscreen replacement companies now owned the resealing companies:
Today’s flying stones and gravel are brought to you by Windscreens O’Boy 🙂

funbutalsoserious 10:16 pm 20 Feb 13

I unfortunately do the daily drive between Queanbeyan and Bungendore and am amazed at how often the new sections of roads have been re-sealed (I think at least 3 times in 12 months).
When the newest section of road opened up it lasted about 3 weeks before there were potholes and ramdom sections of road missing.

Not once after re-sealing the road to they bother to sweep it, that’s what are cars are for right???

There is nothing like the cheapest tender……….

Evil_Kitten 7:08 pm 20 Feb 13

Alderney said :

What pisses me off is the signage that goes with the work. On Hindmarsh going up Red Hill there wasn’t even an end roadwork sign, despite the roadwork obviously ending. Hence speed limit is still 60 when it should have reverted back to 80. And then, after they marked the road, the 60 speed limit sign was still being displayed along with the ‘take care no-lines’ sign. When does the roadwork cease being roadwork? When some tosser figures out the signs have been left out. Probably because they need then for another job.

Yes, I have been ignoring the 60 signs, and so have most people except for a couple of confused motorists who slow right down and then realise no one else is and there’s nothing actually going on.

You’ll be pleased to know they’ve finally taken away their 60 signs! Hindmarsh is back to normal – well, as normal as it can be in a paranoia P2P speed camera zone.

birder 4:22 pm 20 Feb 13

You mean, the roads ARE resealed? You mean, they LEAVE them like they are now? You’ve got to be kidding me! I drive Sulwood/Namatjira/Streeton every weekday, and most of this route was to be resealed. I thought that perhaps they had laid the gravel to hold the tar on better, or something like that, and I was waiting for the tar trucks to appear. It’s very hard to believe that they plan to leave it this way. Even in New Zealand, they do a better job than this.

(ducking….)

Pork Hunt 4:03 pm 20 Feb 13

I said it before and I’ll say it again.

When the fcuk will they do something with Wentworth Ave between Hely St and Telopea Park?

Roundhead89 3:52 pm 20 Feb 13

I can remember when we drove down to Canberra from Sydney and the rough Federal Highway turned into a smooth road as soon as we crossed into the ACT. Now it’s the reverse. Driving up to the border on a rough road it becomes silky smooth as soon as you cross into NSW. How times change.

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