Ashburton District Council's measures to improve a stretch of Ashburton Staveley Road will continue to be treated as a priority, after a bus slid off the side of the road yesterday morning (Tuesday 15 May).
A temporary speed restriction of 70km/h is in place for a 1km section of the road between Ollivers and Driscolls roads, and plans are in place to rehabilitate it in spring, when the weather conditions will allow for this work to be effective. Rehabilitation works cannot be undertaken in colder months as the bitumen will not set in colder conditions.
"We have resealed three of four sections of Ashburton Staveley Road, and had tried to reseal the fourth section where bitumen had risen to the top and resulted in a shiny road surface," Service Delivery Group Manager Neil McCann says. "Resealing for the stretch between Ollivers and Driscolls roads – where the bus came off the road – was attempted last summer, however hot weather saw the bitumen bleed and it was picked up by car tyres which left long ruts in the road. A reseal treatment would no longer suffice, so we identified that the road needed more intensive rehabilitation.
"Until that work can start, we will be water cutting the road to remove the top layer of bitumen and restore a layer of traction on the wheel tracks. There are only two machines in the South Island that can do this. Our contractors have told us one will arrive from Nelson this weekend and work on the road will be completed before the end of next week.
"Ashburton Staveley Road continues to be a top roading priority. We are very thankful that no one was injured in yesterday's incident, as I'm sure everyone in our community is, and it has further indicated the importance of our plans to improve the safety on the road."
The Council has completed close to 70km of reseals in the district this financial year, and a further 10km of rehabilitation work.
"Roading is one of our biggest concerns for our district, and we understand how important it is to the community – as evidenced by the 'Our Place' campaign we ran last year. Given how integral our roading network is for the district, it was one of our top five key issues we consulted on in our draft Long-Term Plan."