Otorohanga District Council’s commitment to improving the safety of local roads and reducing maintenance costs will soon see parts of Raglan Road sealed.
Three sections totalling 1.5km will be traction sealed, meaning the road will be given an overlay of metal and then compacted and sealed.
Roading Manager Andreas Senger says work will also include drainage improvements.
“It’s a project to provide a better and more resilient surface for vehicles to travel on in all weather conditions,” he says.
“There are some potential safety issues as some parts of the road are very steep and windy, and it gets badly corrugated and scours out, so these are the sections which will be traction sealed at an appropriate level of service for the traffic volume.”
Traction seal is the construction of a sealed pavement with a chipseal surfacing. It is applied on short stretches of unsealed road where the alignment is steep and winding and there is difficulty in maintaining a trafficable running surface.
Work on the first section will start 5km from the entrance off SH31, with section two starting a further 1300m along, while section three starts just over 9km from the entrance.
Mr Senger says the road is of some significance because it links the townships of Raglan and Kawhia and is well used by locals and tourists.
“Raglan Road links two tourist destinations and because of the state the road gets into, it has become a priority of Council to seal some parts. There is also the potential to develop the road as a tourist route,” he says.
Council maintains 11km of Raglan Road, which merges into Kawhia Road – which is maintained by Waikato District Council.
Raglan Road is regularly maintained by Council with metalling, grading and shaping taking place twice a year.
“Regular maintenance of the unsealed sections will still happen as part of our winter and summer grading programmes,” says Mr Senger.
“The road also receives top ups if any part washes out.”
Councillor Kit Jeffries is pleased Raglan Road will be improved and praises Council staff for their commitment.
"This is a 'good news' story for residents of Raglan Road and hopefully the start of further seal extensions to improve the Otorohanga District Council section of the road which links Raglan with Kawhia,” he says.
“This road is regularly used by residents and tourists alike and Council staff are to be congratulated for their behind the scene efforts in obtaining NZTA subsidy without which these improvements would not have been possible.”
Former Councillor and Deputy Mayor Deb Pilkington has long been an advocate of the seal extension work.
“I’m absolutely thrilled that the Raglan Road traction sealing is happening – it’s a very significant project and I look forward to experiencing the new work in the not too distant future,” she says.
Inframax Construction Ltd will complete the work, which will be locally funded and partially funded by the New Zealand Transport Agency.