Chip and spray road retarring irks Amanzimtoti motorists

Amanzimtoti residents are up in arms over what has been termed the inept re-tarring of some roads.

Residents complained on social media about the newly tarred surfaces sloughing off in chucks and damaging their vehicles. This was especially problematic at the intersection of Gardiner and School roads and Entombeni Road.

“Fortunate as we are to be the beneficiaries of road maintenance and provision amid the backdrop or prioritised budgets following the October 2017 storm, continued speculation necessitates clarity on the processes being undertaken,” said ward 97 councillor, Andre Beetge.

“While we continue with numerous inspections to ensure all is well, the rehabilitation strategy remains the chip and spray method. This simply involves the application of a binder (glue) to the current surface, followed by the application of stone. The function of chip and spray is firstly to seal existing cracks and to also rejuvenate the current surface. The seal further provides for a skid-resistant surface, making it safer for vehicles to travel on.”

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Cllr Beetge said the method is used to extend the life of the road and if the seal is not done at the most ideal time, the road will disintegrate and a more expensive and invasive rehabilitation strategy would have to be used.

“The road does not have to be a high volume road to be chosen for resealling. Defects such as cracking are the first stage signs of failure and if not treated at the right time, these will manifest into more serious and costly repairs. The presence of water and UV light not only damages the surface, but continues into the layers underneath the surface. The chip and spray serves to protect the underlying layers from water and the damaging forces of traffic and the environment.

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The process is relatively quick but to maintain the seal in the first month of application is of the utmost importance, as that is when the first stone loss occurs. This effectively means stones which did not stick to the binder will come off. This is an anticipated process, hence continuous sweeping must take place in the first few weeks.

Once the excess stone is swept off, a fog spray, which is simply a fine spray of the same binder, is applied to the top of the surface. This then serves to prevent any further stones from coming off and to also protect the stone from the top, as this glue is extremely sticky.”

Cllr Beetge said the downside of the chip and spray method is notably, the sound change. It is louder as vehicle tyres pass over the stone, while the advantages are that multiple roads can be done at a quicker rate, thereby ensuring the enhanced functionality of the city’s road network.

 

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  AUTHOR
Earl Baillache
Journalist

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