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Road resurfacing in Mawson and Phillip

By Jere13 - 24 April 2013 41

When will the madness of the ACT’s road surfacing programme end. Everyone I talk to is unhappy with the spray seal /  chip seal used yet the programme rolls on, this time in Mawson and Phillip. For those of you that live in Mawson, they seem to have done a particularily poor job as there are loose stones all over the road that and there are already tyre grooves where the stones have moved away completely.

For those that are unfamiliar with the technology chipseal is a road surface used by other jurisdictions in Australia and around the world for rural/ low volume roads due to its low cost (1/6 the cost of asphalt) which is completely understandable.  In Canberra, however, Chipseal is now used the vast majority of inner-city  nd high volume roads such as Adelaide Ave, Wentworth Ave and Gunghalin Drive.  Chipseal has a number of the drawbacks, however, including:

  • Lasting less than half as long as asphalt;
  • Causing stone chips to cars;
  • Creating significantly more tyre noise as cited by the NSW RTA as four decibels higher than asphalt (RTA Environmental Noise Management Manual);
  • Decreacing fuel economy (a NZ study found that vs asphalt, the car used in the study used 1 ltr more per 100km)
  • Increasing tyre vibration resulting in a rough ride and loud tyre roar inside the car; and
  • Increasing tyre wear due to increased road surface friction caused by the abrasive stones used.

Why is it that we in the ACT have to put up with 90% of our roads finished with rough chip seal rather than smooth concrete or asphalt (Tony Gill, Legislative Assembly Hansard, 22 June 2012) while Sydney enjoys 83.6% of their roads sealed with asphalt (statistics below supplied by the NSW roads and maritime service).

It seems that the government is comfortable with subjecting us to all these drawbacks of widespread chip seal, using large aggeragate all to save money in the short term and hiding the more qualitative hidden costs under the rug. I would urge any of you who are sick of the stone chips in your car and the roar of your tyres as you drive along to write to your member or the chief minister. I believe Canberra should strive to have the bet facilities and infrastructure in the country and not settle for second best.

  Spray Seal Asphalt Concrete Unsealed
Sydney 11.4% 83.6% 5.0% 0.0%
Hunter 34.7% 42.0% 23.3% 0.0%
Southern 49.9% 36.1% 13.5% 0.6%
Northern 79.2% 12.9% 7.9% 0.0%
Western 92.8% 2.5% 0.3% 4.4%
South West 85.1% 3.3% 11.5% 0.1%
TOTAL 66.6% 23.5% 8.5% 1.4%

What’s Your opinion?


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41 Responses to
Road resurfacing in Mawson and Phillip
DUB 7:45 am 30 Apr 13

Am I glad this thread is still alive! Did anyone see how they’ve resealed Launceston street in Phillip (between Melrose Dr and Callam St)? I can see plenty of claims for chipped windscreens due to this shittiest work.
No sweeping, painted lines right over it, so two days later most of lane markings are gone. A drive on it is as rough as hell. Feedback through Fix My Street was submitted.

Alderney 8:10 pm 29 Apr 13

Jere13 said :

I’m sure dirt roads would be cheaper still, but they should also be considering community amenity. It’s all well and good to say that increacing the roads budget six fold is silly, but they obviously cut the budget by that amount when they moved away from asphalt/concrete.

Cost shifting is a policy dilemma as old as the hills. The Feds cost shift to the states, the states to local government, and they all attempt to cost shift on the citizenry.

The real issue is that the bastards will get away with what they are allowed. Returning the same party time and again ensures they do as they please, not what we instruct them.

Jere13 4:57 pm 29 Apr 13

La_Tour_Maubourg said :

Unrelated, but why doesn’t the ACT Government ever consider using concrete for roads? The Federal/Hume Hwy is immaculately smooth with no pot holes etc. Would be nice if the Majura Parkway would use this solution.

Because it’s even more expensive but it lasts up to 40 years (US studies claim) which is around 8 times longer than chipseal.

They will also never use it cause of the carbon footprint of concrete and the greens have a stong support base in the ACT.

Jere13 4:55 pm 29 Apr 13

JC said :

OP you answered your own question. As you said the cost is less and it is used on low volume roads. Well guess what Canberra roads even main ones are low volume. In Canberra due to low volume especially heavy vehicles our roads become porus before they break so chip seal is used to extend their lives rather than resurface with hot mix at 6 times the cost (using your costs). In Sydney the main roads get destroyed by trucks so need hot mix resurfacing but the suburban roads get seal.

So what it seems you are suggesting is increasing the roads budget by 6 times for no reason other than avoiding chip seal. I gather everytime your car needs a serviced you buy a new one instead?

What is silly though is where they use chip seal on new roads (except temporary allignments) where they just spray on a stabilised base like what the did on Glenloch interchange and more recently I the horse park drive extension. Never once seen that done properly. But that is different to sealing to extend the life of the roads surface.

I think you’re missing the point that chipseal also lasts less than half as long (and even less if it was a particularily bad job) not to mention the hidden costs of chipped windshields and paintwork.

I’m sure dirt roads would be cheaper still, but they should also be considering community amenity. It’s all well and good to say that increacing the roads budget six fold is silly, but they obviously cut the budget by that amount when they moved away from asphalt/concrete.

La_Tour_Maubourg 10:40 pm 24 Apr 13

Unrelated, but why doesn’t the ACT Government ever consider using concrete for roads? The Federal/Hume Hwy is immaculately smooth with no pot holes etc. Would be nice if the Majura Parkway would use this solution.

JC 4:16 pm 24 Apr 13

OP you answered your own question. As you said the cost is less and it is used on low volume roads. Well guess what Canberra roads even main ones are low volume. In Canberra due to low volume especially heavy vehicles our roads become porus before they break so chip seal is used to extend their lives rather than resurface with hot mix at 6 times the cost (using your costs). In Sydney the main roads get destroyed by trucks so need hot mix resurfacing but the suburban roads get seal.

So what it seems you are suggesting is increasing the roads budget by 6 times for no reason other than avoiding chip seal. I gather everytime your car needs a serviced you buy a new one instead?

What is silly though is where they use chip seal on new roads (except temporary allignments) where they just spray on a stabilised base like what the did on Glenloch interchange and more recently I the horse park drive extension. Never once seen that done properly. But that is different to sealing to extend the life of the roads surface.

Solidarity 3:50 pm 24 Apr 13

Zan said :

Maybe we should get GetUp to put pressure on the ACT Government or someone to organise a petition. I am sorry I can’t do it as I don’t have the wherewithal.

The only thing we should be asking GetUp to organise is their own disbandment.

Zan 3:32 pm 24 Apr 13

Maybe we should get GetUp to put pressure on the ACT Government or someone to organise a petition. I am sorry I can’t do it as I don’t have the wherewithal.

A_Cog 1:25 pm 24 Apr 13

FioBla said :

We should elect a scholar of roads.

+1.

A Roads Scholar (too obvious?)

I nominate OP. Talk to Rattenbury. He’s got TAMS.

FioBla 1:18 pm 24 Apr 13

We should elect a scholar of roads.

Alderney 1:15 pm 24 Apr 13

Very Busy said :

I don’t understand how the Director Roads ACT, the ACT Chief Minister and the ACT Transport Minister can possibly think that this is acceptable. Do they get around with their eyes closed?

…but I thought the transport minister was a green. Doesn’t that, in and of itself, make the government green?

No need to actually DO green things.

HiddenDragon 12:40 pm 24 Apr 13

So it’s cheap and nasty (that’s certainly my observation) and yet, when the powers that be bother to respond to complaints about the level of rates and taxes in the ACT, the response is often along the lines of “Canberrans expect, and are prepared to pay for, higher quality services than elsewhere in Australia”.

There may be some services which truly are higher quality here than elsewhere, but there do seem to be quite a few exceptions to that.

f4te 11:46 am 24 Apr 13

If only we could express our objections in some democratic way. Perhaps we could incorporate some form of voting system? Oh wait, we just had an election, and nothing changed.

But you are right about the roads, the resurfacing is horrendous.

Very Busy 11:11 am 24 Apr 13

It wouldn’t be so bad if they would properly clean up the mess left behind. All the resurfacing that was done at the beginning of the year is still surrounded by loose stones in the gutters and median strips.

This seems to be something that has changed over the last decade. Previously the roads were properly swept and all loose stones were removed.

I don’t understand how the Director Roads ACT, the ACT Chief Minister and the ACT Transport Minister can possibly think that this is acceptable. Do they get around with their eyes closed?

tim_c 10:11 am 24 Apr 13

They spray/chip [un]sealed Bangalay Crescent, Rivett a year or two ago and the road suddenly became so noisy to drive on that I felt genuinely sorry for the people that live along that road. The ironic thing was that afterwards ActewAGL came and ripped up a section at the south/west end of Hibiscus Crescent (to replace a pipe under the road) and they actually replaced the road with a proper developed-country sealed road so now there’s a really smooth quiet patch to drive on.

Interestingly, grip on the proper smoother bitumen, particularly in the wet, is substantially greater than on the spray/chip [un]seal, so much so that after they spray/chip [un]sealed the corner from Cotter Rd (westbound) onto Streeton Dr (Weston), nearly every time it rained, someone would lose it on the corner and use their car to knock down one of the nearby street lights (no, it wasn’t enough to observe someone else doing it last time it rained, lots of people had to wait for the street light to be replaced and then more rain so they could try it first-hand for themselves!). The corner was eventually resealed with proper smooth bitumen and, to my knowledge, there hasn’t been an issue since.

Still, if the ACT Gov’t was actually concerned about road/traffic noise, fuel consumption, wear/tear on vehicles, tyres, etc., they wouldn’t be causing us to be continually braking and accelerating and bumping along over speed bumps which are coming soon to a street near you.

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