Standard of road repairs criticised

A Dunedin councillor has had a crack at roading contractors about "crap" patch-up jobs.

"It does tend to be that a lot of jobs look like they’re just done by people that don’t know what they’re doing or certainly don’t care about what they’re doing, for a start-off," Cr Mike Lord said.

His outburst at the Dunedin City Council infrastructure services committee meeting yesterday came while council transport group manager Jeanine Benson was accepting questions.

"I’m just wondering if there’s any data as to how many jobs you actually turn around and say ‘no, this is a crap job, we’re not going to pay you for it’," Cr Lord said.

"Or have we asked them to do a crap job, sort of thing?"

Ms Benson replied work was done within funding constraints.

"We do have something called the maintenance intervention guide, where the DCC staff and our contracting partners Fulton Hogan ... look at the treatment for a particular road activity to figure out whether that’s the most appropriate treatment for that asset," Ms Benson said.

Cr Lord referred to initial patches turning into larger holes and eventually "a proper job" being needed for repairs.

He said he was not an engineer, but it was obvious the first fix was like putting a plaster on a bullet hole.

Ms Benson said a percentage of jobs were audited, looking at such things as whether sealing over the top of pavement was adequate or if a dig-out and reseal should have been done.

Fulton Hogan had a 96% score in June for roading defects repair work deemed appropriate and 80% in April and May.


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I don't understand?!.....When your car breaks down, you take it to a mechanic. You EXPECT him to fix it right, first time. Fulton Hogan are supposed to be the qualified 'mechanics' of Dunedin's roads. They have been in operation since 1933 for goodness sake!
An failure rate of 1 in 5 repairs is absolutely unacceptable.
It's sounds suspiciously like the 'mechanic' is creating more issues in anticipation of future revenue.

And ONCE AGAIN, our DCC leaders are soundly asleep at the wheel of the car.

Or is it do the least amount of work possible to get the most out of the DCC with the DCC not checking up on the work done with someone suitably qualified to hold FH accountable for the sub standard work done?

Checking up on what they -we- pay for is not DCC's special talent.
Remember the sucker truck that wasn't even in Dunedin for a couple of years, that was supposed to clean out the mud'n'crud traps, when it turned out they were unable to drain and this was a contributor to the massive South Dunedin flood? Cr Vandervis the troublemaker (!) had been trying to point that out and got labelled for his efforts. I hope the same does not happen to Cr Mike Lord. We need councilors with the gumption to represent us ratepayers despite staff, mayor and most councilors' attitude to what we get for our rates compared with what we want and need.

Former Chief Exec, Ruth Stokes, did send Fulton Hogan out, 'until they got it right'.

Good to see someone actually stand up and say something about this issue.
QUOTE; "Fulton Hogan had a 96% score in June for roading defects repair work deemed appropriate and 80% in April and May."
Then that just shows that the standard for 'scoring' is rather low if they can score 96%.

QUOTE; "Ms Benson replied work was done within funding constraints"
translates that yes indeed, we only allow for plaster over bullet holes and we go back a month later and do it again.....
Lol, "maintainance intervention guide"......."treatment for a particular road activity" ......."most appropriate treatment for that asset".......
We used to say...."fix the bloody pothole"! If as much effort was put into the repairs as the the amount of creative wording to describe the job, we'd have some great road surfaces!

Our road has been resealed and patched multiple times over the last 3 years. Even the full reseal isnt done properly. Ive had the DCC out several times to discuss the amount of loose chip that keeps getting tracked into our garage and the seal that keeps peeling up. On "hot" days (you know 18C!) the seal gets tacky and pulls up. Their response was that a different bitumen solution was being used (ie CHEAP) and some issues were being experienced.
Maybe Im getting old but in my work experience the adage "do it once and do it right" was the adage. Im sure FH are laughing themselves silly getting to charge multiple times for doing the same job over and over.

Perhaps Cllr Lord would like to examine another case in his neck of the woods. The Henley bridge as it crosses from Henley Road to Taieri Ferry Road was given a major 'refurbishment' only a few years ago. Since then it has been repaired several times due to the refurbishment being of extremely poor quality. Missing timber sections and protruding screws & nails are common.
The main issue is the number and small size of the pieces of timber used to repair the deck and the complete lack of staggered joints. All this leads to increased flexing and premature failure.
On my last discussion with the council over the state of the bridge and the quality of the repair, the manager I spoke with had little concern over making the bridge repair fit for purpose. His only issue was that if the repairs continued to fail, then council should not be paying for the ongoing patch up job. Nobody would give me the name of the person at the DCC who signed off on the work. So I guess 'no accountability' culture still remains there.
It is there for all to see, including Cllr Lord, any tradesman with half a clue would laugh at it.

I advised the Council of a shingle/cement spillage on the first bend approaching the hill up Larnach Road from Marne Street some months ago telling them that it was extremely dangerous and was likely to cause difficulties, if not an accident. If anything was done, it was too little, too late. Instead of preventing the situation from evolving into something worse, it is now a series of potholes that continues to get progressively worse.
I have absolutely no faith in the council, or its contractors, to do anything until it either causes an accident, when they will all deny responsibility, or one has to trade in their car for a 4WD that is capable of driving out of the resulting depths without destroying their tyres or wrecking their suspension. Just take a look at the condition of the road off Portsmouth Drive entering Portobello Road. Month upon month this poorly surfaced road are potholes in the making. Why does the Council not care? Or is it just easier to ignore and put the rates up even higher before being convinced to fix it.
It appears that Councillor Lord is the only honest Councillor with a sense of responsibility and strength of character to say it like it really is.

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