Chip seal rumble strips fail

These rumble strips installed on Wanaka's Riverbank Rd six weeks ago as an interim traffic-slowing solution have been destroyed by braking trucks. Stronger replacement strips are being installed this week. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
These rumble strips installed on Wanaka's Riverbank Rd six weeks ago as an interim traffic-slowing solution have been destroyed by braking trucks. Stronger replacement strips are being installed this week. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Riverbank Rd in Wanaka was the victim of a rumble strip ''cock-up'' reminiscent of Cardrona's disastrous traffic-slowing devices, community board member Bryan Lloyd said yesterday.

Mr Lloyd was discussing the badly damaged chip seal rumble strips installed on Riverbank Rd six weeks ago by the Queenstown Lakes District Council to warn motorists to slow down when approaching the Ballantyne Rd intersection.

Their installation was in response to concerns raised with the Wanaka Community Board in March by Ballantyne Rd residents John Wellington and Julie Jones, who said motorists regularly failed to give way at the intersection and a serious accident was inevitable.

The rumble strips were suggested as an interim safety measure until the intersection could be completely redesigned.

At yesterday's community board meeting, chairwoman Rachel Brown said the rumble strips had ''failed'' due to a combination of weather conditions and air brakes on large vehicles ''ripping them up''.

Board member Ross McRobie said the matter should be treated with ''some urgency'', while Mr Lloyd said the exercise had been ''a cock-up like Cardrona was and I always thought if you made a cock-up, you fix it quickly''.

Mr Lloyd was referring to the council's costly mistake at Cardrona last year, where $50,000 rumble strips at either end of the village had to be removed a month after installation because they were a safety hazard for cyclists and motorcyclists.

''The decision [to install rumble strips on Riverbank Rd] was made quickly, presumably because it's a danger area, and obviously there was a mess made and it should be fixed,'' Mr Lloyd said.

Ms Brown said the board had committed to improving safety at the intersection and she had the assurance of council engineers that the rumble strips would be reinstalled as soon as the contractor was available.

When the Otago Daily Times visited Riverbank Rd yesterday afternoon, council contractors were already on site removing the ruined strips and replacing them with ones which had better adhesive qualities.

QLDC chief engineer Ulrich Glasner said the work would be completed within the next couple of days and it was likely additional rumble strips would be installed further back from the intersection in four to six weeks, depending on how the first lot of replacements performed.

However, the strips remained a temporary measure until a longer-lasting solution could be found.

One permanent option being considered was cutting into the asphalt to create the desired rumble effect, rather than adding something on top of its surface.

''We are experimenting a little bit with product and what will be the best for the environment,'' Mr Glasner said.

Alternative traffic-slowing solutions discussed by the community board yesterday included photovoltaic road marking technology, illuminated signage and one tongue-in-cheek suggestion to resite the ill-fated Cardrona rumble strips.

lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz