No problem with chip seal, says NZTA

17:32, Dec 05 2013

It was not unusual for a new project to have a few issues, a government transport official said yesterday.

New Zealand Transport Agency spokesman Anthony Frith said only tidy-up work was left at the Butter Factory Corner site, outside Blenheim, despite a resident's concerns that the chip seal appeared to be failing.

The notorious corner at the intersection of State Highway 1 and Alabama Rd has been re-modelled to reduce the risk of crashes and allow more room for the range of manoeuvres required at the busy junction.

It would be officially opened on Monday, Mr Frith said. Marlborough Roads highway manager Frank Porter and Marlborough Mayor Alistair Sowman would mark the project's completion on Monday morning.

Nearby resident Richard Knight said on Wednesday the chip seal on the $1 million project was "bleeding out", with the tar coming through the chip and the stones coming off the road surface.

He suggested the part of the road most under pressure should have been sealed with asphalt, as was used for a 20 metre-long strip by the Riverlands industrial estate further down SH1.


"It's a shame . . . It's a beautiful road," he said.

Mr Knight said residents were pleased with the work on the road. It looked good and had reduced noise from passing trucks' brakes.

It was not unusual in a new project to have a few initial issues, Mr Frith said.

Marlborough Roads highway manager Frank Porter was on leave. Staff referred comment to the New Zealand Transport Agency head office in Wellington.

The new intersection between SH1 and Alabama Rd provides a left-hand slip lane, a right-hand turning bay, and 25 metres' queuing distance for drivers waiting on the highway to cross the railway line at Alabama Rd.

The sweeping curve on SH1 has also been straightened to make it fit in better with the overall road, and less of a surprise to motorists.

The Marlborough Express