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Safety, Innovation And Delivery Focus Of New Roading Season

Timaru District Council roading contractors have embarked on a $13 million road construction season, with a focus on delivery, innovation and most importantly safety.

Contractors are working to resurface 70km of roads and 8km of footpaths, and reconstruct approximately 10km of roads.

They will also undertake Bridge replacements, an upgrade of the Heaton Street Railway crossing, replacement curb and channels, urban safety enhancements and new cycleways.

Major construction projects being undertaken include the Route 72 Coach-Tiplady roundabout and the Orari Back Road seal extension. Details of these projects are now available at timaru.govt.nz/forwardworks

To help deliver the programme safely, Timaru District will be the first council in the country to be utilising the eStop system of remote controlled traffic lights. This will replace the traditional stop/go signs held by workers in the traffic lane, traditionally one of the higher risk roles.

This ensures that traffic can still be well controlled, but will enable workers do so out of the traffic lanes.

The system also enhances safety for drivers, as the system protects against human error, no two lights can be green at the same time and standard amber light timings are used to better control the transition between directions.

Timaru District Mayor Nigel Bowen said that safety of staff, contractors and road users was the top concern for the council.

“We’ve got a busy season of roadworks ahead as we continue to invest in our critical transport network. While there is a focus on delivery of projects, our responsibility is to ensure everyone gets home safe every day, both the people working on our roads and road users,” he said.

“While we’re doing everything we can to ensure the safety of staff and contractors, we also need road users to do their bit by slowing down around road works.

“Timaru District has never been scared to embrace innovation. We’re harnessing new technologies and new approaches to improve how we deliver services enabling us to deliver critical road safety upgrades to a better standard than ever, while improving our sustainability.

“A partnership with our Land Transport Unit and major contractor Fulton Hogan has enabled Timaru to be one of the first places in the country to benefit from these innovations.”

The Timaru District has become an innovation centre for Fulton Hogan, recently helping in the launch of the new safer sealing system – Emulsure Seal. It was developed in Fulton Hogan’s Canterbury Laboratory, and 450 tonnes was tested on TDC resealing projects over 12 months, before being rolled out nationally in mid-2020.

A new programme for AC (Hotmix) repair and replacement treatments, based on extensive wear and performance data collected by the Council’s land transport team, is underway.

Fulton Hogan’s road surfaces technical manager, Dr Bryan Pidwerbesky, and the company’s Canterbury laboratory is analysing the data to propose a range of options for the team to consider and test.

Fulton Hogan’s South Island General Manager Craig Stewart says the TDC’s willingness to innovate is a major factor.

“The key is a council that’s willing to partner around new ideas for better wearing, more sustainable roads that give a better long-term return on investment,” he said.

A live map of current and upcoming works can be found at timaru.govt.nz/forwardworks

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