Open Letter - Grant Street Roadworks

Published on 25 January 2019

Stuart McConnell website.jpg

Our road network is one of the most important assets we have. Like everything – from the barbeque in your backyard to the brake pads in your car – roads have a life span. Time and money spent maintaining them protects their quality and prolongs their longevity.

In March 2018, Council engaged a contractor to carry out resealing works on the retail strip section of Grant Street, Alexandra. Unfortunately, this work did not end up meeting Council’s expectations, nor those of the community. While some defects are to be expected, the extent of the of the issues with the work has meant that significant additional work has been required. These are the road works which were carried out last Sunday, 20 January.

As part of Council’s standard contract management process these defects are the contractor’s responsibility to repair.

The original resealing of Grant Street in March last year used Council’s standard approach to road resealing projects, which is to renew the asset with equivalent materials and ensure the most cost-effective solution. We continuously review our approach to ensure we are truly getting the best possible value for ratepayers. 

Resealing involves a bitumen binder, which is an adhesive, and layer of stone. The bitumen used in resealing is at its weakest, and stickiest, when it is first laid and it then hardens over time. 

This type of road seal is best laid in warmer weather so the new bitumen can adhere to the old road surface, and the new stones, which are laid on top, will stick into the new bitumen. However, if it is too hot the binder can be particularly soft (and sticky) until it cures.

The areas where Council’s contractors carried out repair works on Grant Street last Sunday have been particularly sticky because of a combination of factors, including high temperatures and the impact of vehicles maneuvering in and out of car parks. The maneuvering can scrub away the stone while the binder is still soft.

An extra layer of stone has now been applied to protect the seal from the impact of manoeuvring vehicles while the material cures. Unfortunately, this does mean there is some loose stone lying on the road. To minimise the impact of this, Council will be sweeping the surrounding areas, including footpaths, each day to remove the loose stone. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and when the binder is sufficiently set, the excess stones will be removed and line marking will proceed.

We understand the situation on Grant Street has been annoying, and we are sorry for the inconvenience caused, but we do believe this process will result in a good long term outcome.

Thanks for your understanding,

Sincerely,

Stuart McConnell, Murrindindi Shire Council Director Assets and Infrastructure