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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
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460cixy 1:34 pm 16 Oct 13

Jere13 said :

I was in Phillip on the weekend and not only are there still stones everywhere, large parts of it have already worn away back to the tar (I think they call it bleeding). It looks shocking and I would imagine is very slippery in the wet.

It was done in winter in the pissing rain

Jere13 12:51 pm 16 Oct 13

Onceler said :

Hinkler St and nearby cul-de-sacs have recently been swept/vacuumed and there is far less loose gravel. Something to be thankful for I suppose…

Nice, well at least that’s something. I guess they are save to drive on again untill the next layer of gravel is sprayed eveywhere making it near impossible to have a stonechip free car.

Onceler 3:11 pm 29 Jul 13

Hinkler St and nearby cul-de-sacs have recently been swept/vacuumed and there is far less loose gravel. Something to be thankful for I suppose…

54-11 2:44 pm 29 Jul 13

You’ll be pleased to know that, as I sit here bored shitless (broken leg from a dickhead in a 4WD), I can see and hear a street sweeper cleaning up the stones from the recent re-sealing in the area you have mentioned.

So at least the stones have gone. Still does nothing for the crappy job that was done.

Jere13 2:07 pm 29 Jul 13

I was in Phillip on the weekend and not only are there still stones everywhere, large parts of it have already worn away back to the tar (I think they call it bleeding). It looks shocking and I would imagine is very slippery in the wet.

Jere13 1:38 pm 27 May 13

I actually did a bit of digging on the weekend and there are aparently many different types of chipseal including
– single seal
– double seal
– cape seal
– geotextile seal
– split seal
– graded seal
– sand seal
– slurry seal

Incidentally, compared to the single seal we are lumped with in Canberra all of these alternatives are smoother to drive on, quieter and greatly reduce the amount of stones becoming dislodged (and hitting your windshield).

There is even a method of adding crumb rubber to chipseals to make them smoother and quieter and we don’t even get that here. I think it’s important for the community to know that dirt roads aside, we are getting the rock bottom, lowest grade of road avaliable.

Jere13 1:18 pm 21 May 13

Zan said :

Slurry seal does not have traction for motorcyclists and bicyclists, especially in the wet.

Zan said :

Slurry seal does not have traction for motorcyclists and bicyclists, especially in the wet.

Thanks Zan.

So it offers even less traction than chip seal?

muscledude_oz 12:27 pm 21 May 13

Tetranitrate said :

bundah said :

They had considered going over the top of the Lake George range but it wasn’t feasible so they went the concrete route below.There were many fatalities and serious injuries along the old stretch of road due to dangerous overtaking and poor judgement significantly attributed to the deceptive and undulating road surface which the duplication has greatly alleviated.

I remember that road well from childhood trips to distant relatives. It was a terribly narrow road given the traffic it carried, even as a kid it was nerve wracking when people would pull out to overtake.

…not to mention the cute bastards who would deliberately get in front and drive at 70-80km/h and see how many cars they could trail behind them on the single lane road.

Zan 11:18 am 21 May 13

Slurry seal does not have traction for motorcyclists and bicyclists, especially in the wet.

Jere13 9:24 am 21 May 13

Does anyone know why they don’t use a slurry seal instead?

It looks infinitely smoother and there doesn’t appear to be any risk of flying stones.

Tetranitrate 9:43 pm 20 May 13

bundah said :

They had considered going over the top of the Lake George range but it wasn’t feasible so they went the concrete route below.There were many fatalities and serious injuries along the old stretch of road due to dangerous overtaking and poor judgement significantly attributed to the deceptive and undulating road surface which the duplication has greatly alleviated.

I remember that road well from childhood trips to distant relatives. It was a terribly narrow road given the traffic it carried, even as a kid it was nerve wracking when people would pull out to overtake.

bundah 6:04 pm 20 May 13

c_c™ said :

bundah said :

c_c™ said :

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.

You’re joking, the Federal Highway is horribly bumpy where they’ve used that bright concrete surface, you can see all the cracks and fills they’ve put in the concrete. Hume Highway though is brilliant.

I’m guessing you’d never travelled along the Federal Hwy stretch past Lake George prior to concrete duplication for that was a bumpy,undulating and dangerous section of road.They used reinforced concrete due to the very soft ground surrounding the lake which was deemed unsuitable for asphalt.

I haven’t, though I believe some parts of it still exist so must give it a go sometime. That’s really interesting, I didn’t know that’s why they chose concrete for that stretch.

They had considered going over the top of the Lake George range but it wasn’t feasible so they went the concrete route below.There were many fatalities and serious injuries along the old stretch of road due to dangerous overtaking and poor judgement significantly attributed to the deceptive and undulating road surface which the duplication has greatly alleviated.

c_c™ 5:14 pm 20 May 13

bundah said :

c_c™ said :

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.

You’re joking, the Federal Highway is horribly bumpy where they’ve used that bright concrete surface, you can see all the cracks and fills they’ve put in the concrete. Hume Highway though is brilliant.

I’m guessing you’d never travelled along the Federal Hwy stretch past Lake George prior to concrete duplication for that was a bumpy,undulating and dangerous section of road.They used reinforced concrete due to the very soft ground surrounding the lake which was deemed unsuitable for asphalt.

I haven’t, though I believe some parts of it still exist so must give it a go sometime. That’s really interesting, I didn’t know that’s why they chose concrete for that stretch.

Jere13 4:53 pm 20 May 13

bundah said :

c_c™ said :

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.

You’re joking, the Federal Highway is horribly bumpy where they’ve used that bright concrete surface, you can see all the cracks and fills they’ve put in the concrete. Hume Highway though is brilliant.

I’m guessing you’d never travelled along the Federal Hwy stretch past Lake George prior to concrete duplication for that was a bumpy,undulating and dangerous section of road.They used reinforced concrete due to the very soft ground surrounding the lake which was deemed unsuitable for asphalt.

I agree it’s far from perfect, but that compared to the coarse chip in Canberra is infinitely smoother to drive on and you don’t get the constant tyre roar.

bundah 4:59 pm 14 May 13

c_c™ said :

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.

You’re joking, the Federal Highway is horribly bumpy where they’ve used that bright concrete surface, you can see all the cracks and fills they’ve put in the concrete. Hume Highway though is brilliant.

I’m guessing you’d never travelled along the Federal Hwy stretch past Lake George prior to concrete duplication for that was a bumpy,undulating and dangerous section of road.They used reinforced concrete due to the very soft ground surrounding the lake which was deemed unsuitable for asphalt.

gazket 4:01 pm 14 May 13

Total waste of money , because the public’s cars become the roller to push the stones into the tar seal. Cars are not heavy enough to do the job so the chip seal just sits on the surface and peels back off .

Tetranitrate 3:42 pm 14 May 13

Jethro said :

Onceler said :

I can understand budget constraints, but leaving urban roads in this state is ridiculous.

Am I correct in thinking that the resurfacing is done by private contractors hired by the government?

If so, you would assume that cleaning up afterwards is part of the job they are being paid for, and these companies are simply not doing it because it helps them cut costs/increase their profits.

The ACT government needs to start holding these companies accountable for doing a half-arsed job (eg. cancelling future contracts with them). If we must go down the road of having private companies completing public works, we should at least be ensuring that these private companies do the job they are paid to do.

I’d really prefer to see them move back to having a dedicated workforce employed directly by the government. All this contracting garbage does is shovel money to the owners and generally speaking screw the workers, all the while resulting in the sort of mess we see our roads in now.
At the very least they should maintain the capacity to do most routine maintenance, ie;filling potholes and resealing themselves and contract for major works as they come up.

c_c™ 2:43 pm 14 May 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.

You’re joking, the Federal Highway is horribly bumpy where they’ve used that bright concrete surface, you can see all the cracks and fills they’ve put in the concrete. Hume Highway though is brilliant.

KaptnKaos 2:25 pm 14 May 13

Just get everyone you know to log the issue with actgubs “Fix My Street”, they’ll do one of two things, change the way they reseal the roads or take down the website, knowing the actgub, they’ll shut the site down.

OR start a class action against the actgub for damage to cars, motorbikes, bicycles, yards, houses, other property, people, roos, dogs, cats etc. caused by their failure to reseal a road in decent manner.

Jere13 1:42 pm 14 May 13

Jethro said :

Onceler said :

I can understand budget constraints, but leaving urban roads in this state is ridiculous.

Am I correct in thinking that the resurfacing is done by private contractors hired by the government?

If so, you would assume that cleaning up afterwards is part of the job they are being paid for, and these companies are simply not doing it because it helps them cut costs/increase their profits.

The ACT government needs to start holding these companies accountable for doing a half-arsed job (eg. cancelling future contracts with them). If we must go down the road of having private companies completing public works, we should at least be ensuring that these private companies do the job they are paid to do.

I quite agree. They argue that chipseal is used extensively in other states as well, however in NSW from what I have seen they use a much smaller aggerate (stone) than that used in the ACT (where we seem to use blue metal from the look of it). If you do a quick search online all the chipseal studies state that the smaller the aggeregate the less tyre wear, better traction and the quieter the ride yet in the ACT we seem to get massive coarse stones on our roads.

It’s so frustrating that we can’t seem to change this. Everyone I know has complained to Tams at some point about the loose stones and coarse ride yet nothing seems to change. I’ve even written to Alistair Coe who stated that his preference was for hotmix (asphalt), but did not make any firm promises.

I would be happy just to see the major roads sealed in hotmix and money saved on the quieter roads.

It’s pretty embarrasing that the Federal Hwy changes from smooth hotmix to noisy chipseal smack on where the “Welcome to the ACT” sign is placed. I think that says it all.

Perhaps they should put a permanent “Rough Roads Ahead” sign right next to it.

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