Monday, 18 June 2018 08:46

Crazing cracks create a hazard

Residents in the Toonalook Waters Estate at Paynesville are unhappy at the state of their roads. Rob Fletcher, who lives in Waterlily Way, says the road is so bad that he fears his son, Steve, who uses crutches to move around, will trip and fall. The road, which was built in 2009, has raised strips from previous repair work and has developed cracks. “Steve obviously finds this a tripping hazard,” Mr Fletcher said. “He’s vulnerable to falling over, he’s already fallen and cracked his head open on another road.” The Fletchers have lived in the street since 2011 and Mr Fletcher said he noticed “thin cracks crazing all over the road”. Mr Fletcher said there was an attempt to patch the road “with a hot mix only poured into the cracks”. He says the road has since developed more cracks and about four months ago another attempt was made to repair it. “It’s just not good enough,” Mr Fletcher said. Residents around the corner in Jacaranda Drive are also experiencing cracking and an uneven road surface. Aileen Macdermid says she’s concerned for her elderly mother who comes around daily. “Mum walks around the neighbourhood and even on her scooter it’s a little bit treacherous,” Mrs Macdermid said. “It comes down to pride; we like to look after our estate and it’s disappointing to have the roads in this condition.” Mr Fletcher has a background as a building contractor and has been involved in laying roads. He says that roads are generally designed to last 20 years. “These roads have lasted 10 years,” he said.

Mr Fletcher believes East Gippsland Shire Council “needs to re-sheet over this road at the very least”. He believes the road wasn’t laid properly in the first instance. “They need to do a core hole here and see why we have a problem,” Mr Fletcher said. He says getting the asphalt mix right is similar to a cake recipe; the “ingredients have to be right”. Mr Fletcher says thickness of the bitumen may play a factor in the problems that have developed. “It seems very thin. “The ongoing need for council rubbish trucks and other heavy vehicles will no doubt have an effect on the crumbling roads in our area.” The road was laid by a private contractor, but according to Mrs Macdermid the shire was responsible for ensuring it was done properly and were paid to do so. Councillors for the shire were invited to inspect Waterlily Way and Cr Ben Buckley obliged. Cr Buckley told the Advertiser: “I don’t think they put the foundations in the first place”. “It’s not good, put it that way.” Shire director of operations, Chris Waites, in a letter to Mr Fletcher in late May, said that while “appearance of the asphalt surface is less then desirable due to the extensive cracking and subsequent repairs, the pavement as a whole is in a stable, safe and trafficable condition”. “Council’s area supervisor will continue to monitor the pavement and will order further crack sealing as they appear. The crack sealing will be undertaken by council’s road maintenance contractor with the intent of keeping moisture out of the underlying pavement layers, which is left open can cause accelerated failyre of the pavement. Should any signs of pavement failure present, then further remediation action will follow,” Mr Waites said. Mr Waites has reportedly since had further contact with Mr Fletcher and advised he would personally visit Toonalook Waters Estate.