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Christchurch City Council Media Release 16 September 1999

When The Chips Are Down In Christchurch

About 900 billion stone chips will soon be spread on 90km of Christchurch roads.

This will happen when the Christchurch City Council’s $1.7 million chip seal programme for the 1999-2000 season gets under way next month.

The programme will involve about 200 different stretches of road covering a total of 90km of streets.

Together with the estimated 900 billion stone chips, about 1.5 million litres of bitumen will be spread.

The Council’s roading engineer, Ken Stevenson, said chip sealing was the most economic way to give the roads a waterproof surface and at the same time minimise future maintenance costs and improve their skid-resistance.

He said road carpet or hot-mix were other options for road-surface maintenance but they cost up to $10 a square metre. Chip seal cost around $1.80 a square metre and generally lasted for an average of 15 to 16 years.

Mr Stevenson said no one wanted the disruptions caused with chip sealing roads, but in the long-term chip seal was the best form of maintenance.

"Residents and motorists need to be aware that bitumen and stone chips can cause damage to the paint work of vehicles and sticky bitumen can be walked into houses before it is cured.

"Pets, not kept off the roads, can be injured if they come into contact with hot bitumen. For these reasons care should be taken during and following the sealing period," Mr Stevenson said.

Christchurch roads are divided into three zones for the chip-sealing programme.

Fulton Hogan Ltd has the contract for the southwest section of the city and the two other contracts will be let towards the end of the month.

Normal hours of work for each of the contractors will be between 7am and 7pm Monday to Saturday.

Mr Stevenson said residents adjacent to the newly sealed roads should expect the contractors to return a few days after the seal had been laid to remove loose stones and carry out any repairs.

"We try to warn residents of the hazards before their streets are sealed but inevitably it can be inconvenient for anyone who is not prepared to meet us halfway to help minimise the disruptions," he said.

"The economic benefits of the programme put the short-term problems experienced by those living in a street which is sealed into perspective. A few days for the work to be done and a few weeks while the seal cures is a very small cost," Mr Stevenson said.

Further information: or ( Peter McDonald

Christchurch City Council

Tele: 941 8555 or 941 8668

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