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Road resurfacing costs soar

September 8, 2004

Road resurfacing costs soar

North Shore City Council will resurface fewer roads this financial year, to avoid a two per cent rate increase in the face of soaring road maintenance costs.

The council had estimated road resurfacing would cost $3.9m this year. Tenders from contractors put the cost at around $6.7m, a 70 per cent increase.

"Faced with such a huge cost increase, the council had two options - to reduce the scale of our resurfacing programme, or increase rates by two per cent," North Shore City's works and environment committee chairperson, Joel Cayford, says.

"We can't allow our roads to deteriorate by waiting until costs fall, and a rate increase was not an option. Consequently, this year we will resurface about 30km of roads, instead of the usual 46km," he says.

"The council was appalled by such a steep rise in the cost of road maintenance and we have requested urgent discussions between the government and Auckland region councils about this problem."

The increase has been attributed to rising oil prices, higher standards of quality assurance, and the heavy demand for construction work in the region.

"Market forces are the biggest factor in this price rise, and we need to make sure contractors are not taking advantage of booming construction demand to make huge profits at the expense of North Shore City ratepayers," Joel Cayford says.

"Other councils in the region are facing the same problem, and we must work with the government to find a solution."

Joel Cayford stressed the change would not mean the council will be compromising on the quality of road resurfacing work.

"We will stick with our current policy on road surfacing types. Roads earmarked for an asphaltic concrete reseal will still get this high-quality treatment."

ENDS

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