Fulton Hogan has apologised after motorists heading south into Auckland on Saturday afternoon discovered a newly laid section of State Highway 1 was peeling off and sticking to their cars.
Waka Kotahi said the recent resealing work near Frogpool Farm in Dome Valley fell “short of expectations” for work on state highways and would need to be rectified.
Regional Manager Tāmaki Makaurau me Te Tai Tokerau, maintenance and operations, Jacqui Hori-Hoult said the priority now was to manage traffic to ensure it was safe for motorists to travel through before permanent repairs are carried out tomorrow.
”Severe thunderstorms in the area have meant that the remedial works to replace the chip seal site with asphalt will now take place on Monday. We will be doing what we can to minimise frustration and help people prepare by sharing information about what they can expect in advance of any works.”
Fulton Hogan will complete the repairs after the reseal failed due to the new chip seal surface stripping after heavy overnight rain, exacerbated by warm weather on Saturday, causing the bitumen to bleed and chipseal stick to vehicle tyres, Hori-Hoult said.
Fulton Hogan’s chief operating officer for infrastructure Simon Dyne apologised.
”We are working to ensure that we can get in and complete permanent repairs as soon as we are able and will be taking all compensation claims seriously.
“Fulton Hogan will continue with repair work on other sections of the road where some of the loose bitumen chip has been tracked onto adjacent road sections.”
All other planned general maintenance and repairs activities will also be taking place as scheduled, Dyne said.
In the meantime, traffic management will remain in place at the site until the permanent work is completed.
Waka Kotahi encourages anyone who has received damage to their vehicle as a result of this issue to lodge a compensation claim with Fulton Hogan for action. This can be done by emailing NorthlandHighwayCustomer@fultonhogan.com or phoning 09 4700 718.
Police said more than 40 motorists called in to complain with numerous cars reported to have pulled up along the road with tar stuck on their vehicle tyres and body.
The affected section is at the northern end of Dome Valley, about 4km south of the Mangawhai turn-off.
A police spokeswoman said contractors arrived at the scene shortly after 4.30pm and were directing traffic away from the main problem areas.
One motorist said an entire resealed section about a few kilometres long was lifting and kicking up tar and stones and sticking to cars.
There were 20-odd cars on the side of the road, with other cars crawling along to try to get through.
“There was a little old lady with an umbrella trying to get the tar off her tyres, but they were completely covered,” the motorist said.
Even when motorists made it through the resealed section, cars that had picked up the tar were kicking it off and onto other vehicles as they drove along, the motorist said.
Another motorist said they passed through at 3pm and first started noticing cars pulled over about 4km north of Sheepworld.
The motorist said the chipseal was caking up around the tyres of some cars so heavily that they had no choice but to pull over.
“It’s either they put the traffic on it too soon or - considering the rest of the new chipseal has held up - there must have been an issue with the last section they did.”