6 April 2008

The mystery of the blue and white cateyes

| zenpuck
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Lots of road resurfacing has been going on in the Dickson/Hackett area. A puzzling aspect of this work is the off-centre blue and white cateyes. They are lined up a few inches to the left of the lane marking red cateyes. I know there must be a simple explanation….but I just can’t see it. Any Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy know the answer?

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The blue marker indicates the side that the hydrant is on. There is no set distance to the FH.

I think they’re a standard distance from the hydrant – so how close the hydrant is to the curb depends on where the cats eyes are on the road.

minime2, I think you will find they are offset to indicate which side of the road the hydrant is on.

Oh, another thing … in the government(s) never seem to learn section – have you seen the good old smmoth-as-silk-type-tar wiggles are back as a form of road repair on Majura?! Ah Majura on a cold canberra morning; a little ice, a little skippy and my motorbike…..

No one answered the question: WHY ARE THE CAT EYES OFFSET? I inquired about htis years ago to various depts and got the “Wha? standard response from all. But there MUST be a rweason they are all deliberately offset – right under the wheel track!

swamiOFswank7:12 pm 07 Apr 08

A few years ago I drove over a section of road near the St Ives showground in Sydney – on Mona Vale Road. They were trialling a roadbase made partially of ground-up recycled car tyres. There was signage to inform me that it was to test the quietness of the surface for future use in residential areas, and it was bloody quiet even compared to normal bitumen. Maybe this would be a cheaper or greener and quieter way.

Gungahlin Al, spraypave is what they used on parts of the GDE, it is slightly different to what they do when they reseal the roads. What is the same is the final step which is spray with tar and put down the road surface.

Reading the comments above it is clear that not many know why they reseal the roads. It is simple, over time they become porus. When porus water gets underneath and you get pot holes. So they spray a tar layer down, which reseals the road. As the tar would be slippery they then lay down a layer or blue metal (aka rocks) which is then the road surface. Anytime I have seen sealing like this in Canberra they come before hand an fix any problem area’s, which is often why after they reseal it can be a bit bumpy on places.

I agree it is not a good surface, it is noisy, but like I said before who is willing to pay through higher taxes for the roads to be resurfaced rather than resealed? Gee even in the glory days before self government re-surfacing was not done unless it was needed.

m6.7 said :

From what I can tell they also seem to lay down the gravel, then spray the tar material on but sometimes with a day or two in between?

The problem with spraypave/chipseal is that it takes a couple of days to fully cure. In that time the stones are easily dislodged by cars travelling over it. Ideally the road should be closed for a minimum of 24 hours after resealing – something that isn’t practical for Barry Drive. Curing time is also dependant on temperature which is the main reason they can’t reseal roads in Canberra in winter. I’ve seen some roads that were resealed prior to an unexpected cold snap and the traffic had worn two wheel tracks through the reseal by the next day.

RuffnReady said :

I’d like to know why these roads are being resealed when they are actually in pretty good condition to start with.

Its more preventative maintenance than outright renewal. The main cause of potholes and road breakup is water seeping through cracks in the surface which acts as a lubricant to the roadbed allowing it to move. Resealing is intended to seal any cracks forming in the roadway before they allow water in and become a problem. Being a preventative maintenance, it significantly extends the lifespan on the underlying roadway and is less than 10% of the cost of rebuilding the road.

From what I can tell they also seem to lay down the gravel, then spray the tar material on but sometimes with a day or two in between?

That’s what it seemed like on Belconnen Way/Barry Drive one day and it sure as hell didn’t feel very secure on a motorbike.

You had a go at Hargreaves about the Barry Way?! Bit out of his balliwick, that one.

They propped soem official yellow signs up near the end of the airport runway a few weeks back, threatening to re-surface the raod there from 1st April to teh 8th “weather permitting”. Well, the weather looked pretty good to me, unless they don’t like frost, but no re-surfacing happened.

Gungahlin Al1:55 pm 07 Apr 08

It’s called spraypave, and when i complained to John Hargreaves about it being used not just for the GDE but also suburban streets (and now Barry Way I see), John Hargreaves’ response was that it was a perfectly servicable quality road surface!
For a bloody rural laneway maybe.

I’d like to know why these roads are being resealed when they are actually in pretty good condition to start with. There are many roads all over Canberra that need re-sealing far more urgently that Antill St or Rivett St in Hackett.

TAD, “…a metric shitload…”? I love it!

It would be fine except that you can’t skate on it. I didn’t see anywhere in the budget papers an amount make the whole of Canberra unskateable. I say no to skate harassment.

TAD, ring the Fire Brigade (not the 000 number though! :)), as I’m sure they’ll be happy to get something done about a buried hydrant.

This is one of the reasons that people are not supposed to build a garden on the nature strip without approval by the Govt.

It’s a indicator for your local Canberran to tell them where the best place a garden or a metric shitload of crushed granite.

The blue indicator on my street indicates that I’m supposed to have a hydrant directly across the road but my moron of a neighbour has completely buried it under a flower bed. I tried to find the hydrant for 30 minutes with a shovel, mattock and spud bar without any luck. I arranged for Actew to come and find it who 2 months on can’t be bothered.

I’m happy with the rough surface – no bogan ever does burnouts in my part of the street with the surface.

This is definitely one of my pet peeves. What is the point of resurfacing with a lesser quality surface and doing no remedial work on the underlying problems? Again and again the more major bitumen roads are resurfaced with the chipseal on top of a bunch of patches. No less bumpy. WTF am I paying the highest rego in the country for? The Glenlock abomination? A one lane GDE?


Pity they make no attempt to smooth out the bumps. The ride after surfacing is no better than the ride before – as I can attest as both cyclist and motorist.

Gee you guys are pretty quick. They have been using these kind of cats eyes for years to mark hydrants and they have been resealing roads in this way for even longer.

With the road surface they choose it is because it is much cheaper and faster than the alternative which is to strip the top layer off put down a new layer of sealant and then resurface the road with asphalt.

Yet again this is another problem of living in Canberra where our roads do not receive the wear they do in places like Sydney. I know not many of us would be willing to pay for a higher level of road mainteance through higher rego, taxes or a more school closures.

I bet its cheap though!

ChrisinTurner12:17 am 07 Apr 08

Have you noticed that most of the reseal is being done with a very rough surface finish called chipseal. This is noisy for nearby bedrooms, gives high wear on tyres and is terrible for bicycles.

Fire hydrant markers. The fire hydrant is level with the catseyes at the side of the road indicated by the blue catseye.

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