'Slippery' excess bitumen getting the boot on rural roads

28/08/2019 12:00 a.m.

It's slippery in winter and sticky in summer, but thanks to water-cutting trucks, excess bitumen on rural roads around the Ashburton District is being removed to promote better driver safety.

The Council has secured specially designed water-cutting trucks to blast off excess bitumen sitting on the road surface on sections of Tinwald Westerfield Mayfield Road, Mt Hutt Station Road, Forest Drive and Beach Road East.




Excess bitumen on the road surface can be slippery in winter and sticky in summer when the hot temperatures soften the bitumen. Removing it also restores the surface texture of the road to reduce slippage when vehicles turn or brake.

The Council will focus on water-cutting the wheel tracks of slippery corners and intersections.


There are a limited number of water-cutting trucks in New Zealand, however the Council managed to book the trucks a few months in advance from Fulton Hogan.​

The machine blasts water at around 34,000 PSI (pounds per square inch) to cut the bitumen off the road. This is around 10 times the pressure of the water blasters you can purchase from your local hardware store.​


Page reviewed: 29 Aug 2019 11:23am