Bleeding bitumen causing a hassle for New Plymouth resident

Don Openshaw is sick of gravel being thrown onto his driveway as the stones loosen in the increasing temperatures.
ROBERT CHARLES/FAIRFAX NZ

Don Openshaw is sick of gravel being thrown onto his driveway as the stones loosen in the increasing temperatures.

Sick of loose gravel covering his driveway a New Plymouth man has resorted to vacuuming up the nuisance stones. 

Don Openshaw said the problems began when the road in front of his house on Keat Place was re-sealed in May.

"It looked at the time like the council had done a reasonable job," he said. 

"But now stones are coming off the bitumen, they're just not holding in the heat."

Openshaw said the council had swept the road three to four times since re-sealing it but he was still having to sweep his own driveway a number of times a week to remove the excess stones.

"I've even resorted to using a vacuum cleaner," he said.

"With the new rubbish system there are more trucks hurtling round the cul-de-sac and taking off the top layer of gravel."

"There are all types of bitumen and I'm not sure about the quality of the stuff they used here but I think it has to be fit for purpose."

Openshaw said if the road was being torn up in the relatively mild temperatures of spring, it would be a "molten mess" come the hotter summer months.

New Plymouth District Council infrastructure manager David Langford said it was normal for there to be some loose chip once a road had been re-sealed. 

"Keat Place has been monitored by our engineers since the new seal was applied and we are satisfied that the seal is bedding in well and performing as expected," he said. 

Langford said bitumen bleeding in hot weather can also occur on asphalt surfaces. However asphalt was reserved for main roads where a stronger surface was needed to withstand higher levels of traffic. 

"The decision on the treatment option [for a road surface] is based on what the most cost effective solution would be whilst still being appropriate from an engineering point of view," he said.

"In many residential areas there is no actual benefit to be gained by using asphalt that would justify the cost," he said. 

 - Stuff

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