It's less than three years old - but there are problems with Taupo's new $114 million highway, the East Taupo Arterial.
The road has two issues which could potentially delay its handover from the Taupo District Council to the New Zealand Transport Authority.
The road, which opened in October 2010, was always intended to come under NZTA control, while the NZTA in turn would give control of State Highway 1 from Wairakei to Taupo Airport to the council.
The legalisation process of handing over the highway to NZTA, which is long and complex, is still underway, but at the same time the road's construction contractors Fulton Hogan and consultants are working to resolve problems with corroding paint on the steel beams on the underside of the East Taupo Arterial's Waikato River bridge.
The second issue currently being discussed between the two organisations is `rutting' on between five and 10 per cent of the 17km-long highway's surface. Rutting is wear on the road surface which runs lengthwise along the road.
The failure of the paint coating system on the underside of the Waikato River Bridge deck is presenting as paint blistering, mottled areas and rust on the steel beams where the paint has flaked off.
The job of the paint system is to protect the steelwork from rust. However engineers do not believe there is any threat to the bridge's integrity.
The cause of the paint failure is unknown and tests will be carried out over winter to try to determine the cause. Consultants think that it may be due to hydrogen sulphide in the air from the nearby Wairakei Power Station, combined with fog, or alternatively, failure to completely cure the paint on the steel beams before they were installed.
Taupo District Council infrastructure manager Denis Lewis says the paint is a standard product used for painting bridges, but the paint problems on the underneath of the bridge deck occurred within the first 12 months after it was built.
Tests were carried out to try to determine the cause but there was not enough information to reach a conclusion. More data will be gathered this winter.
He says the normal standard NZTA work on is a 40-year lifespan for the paint until its first maintenance.
However, reports released under the Official Information Act show that after the contract was awarded, the coating specification was changed from thermal-sprayed aluminium to a less-expensive waterborne inorganic zinc silicate system, which was also considered to meet the requirement of 40 years to first major maintenance.
The problem with the rutting of the road surface is confined to limited sections of the pavement which is showing more wear than should be expected for a new road.
Mr Lewis says most of the ruts are 7mm to 10mm deep while some are up to 20mm (2cm) deep and the cause is unknown.
``The rutting has occurred faster than we would expect, and deeper than we would expect,'' he says.
The rutting is an issue between Fulton Hogan and the NZTA, who are working together to determine whether the road pavement meets the key performance indicators in the construction contract, Mr Lewis said.
The council was working with both groups to come to a satisfactory conclusion.
In the meantime, the rutting was not a safety issue nor a traffic hazard and the majority of motorists would not notice it.
Mr Lewis says the bridge paint issue could take up to a year to resolve, but might not delay the handover of the road to the NZTA if everything else is ready. The road could be handed over and the bridge retained by the council until the paint issue is identified and repaired.
Mr Lewis says he is still aiming for a year-end handover to NZTA once the legalisation is completed, but it is a complex process and hard to put a firm date on.
``We have a close relationship with NZTA working through various aspects that need to be taken care of.''