Call for action over botched road surface

Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown, centre facing camera, talks to residents about the failed resurfacing work in Evelyn Road, Cockle Bay. Times photos Chris Harrowell

Frustrated east Auckland residents have appealed to their local MP for help after work to resurface their road went badly wrong.

Auckland Transport (AT) contractors began the work in Evelyn Road, Cockle Bay, in mid-April.

Resident Graham Grace says he was surprised to see a layer of brown material, which appeared to be sand, being placed on a segment of the road outside his home.

He took photos and contacted Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart to express his concerns.

Numerous dark patches of varying size are visible on the road’s surface where imperfections appear to have been repaired, while piles of loose stones are scattered by the kerb.

Stewart viewed the work in early May and spoke with AT to find out what went wrong.

The MP squats to take a photo on his phone of one of many areas of loose stones where the surface has failed to bond.

Grace, who describes how the road looks as “disgusting”, recently invited Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown to hear from about a dozen locals and see how it looks.

A number of residents shared their views with Brown as they walked a loop around the road.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” the MP told the Times.

“This is probably one of the worst roads I’ve seen in terms of the job that’s been done.

“When I arrived I thought we were going down a rural road because of all the pot holes and the gravel.”

Brown has since written to AT to state what he feels are the main issues with the work.

He says he wants to raise the residents’ concerns and ask AT “how they’re going to fix it and make sure there’s a long-term solution”.

“For the ratepayers of this area it’s pretty unacceptable to be paying your rates and taxes, because it’s not only your rates, it’s your fuel levies as well which cover the roads, and it’s not the standard I would see as acceptable in an urban area.”

Numerous patches of loose gravel litter segments of Evelyn Road after the work was carried out.

AT spokesperson Natalie Polley says a section of Evelyn Road between Coates Road and Litten Road had been considered for a full pavement, or surface, rehabilitation since 2017/2018.

“However, as Evelyn Road is considered a local road and does not form part of a bus route, would not meet AT/Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency funding rules.

“The maintenance and resurfacing work undertaken by our contractor on this section of Evelyn Rd was not successful and a failure of the road surface has occurred.

“Remedial work to correct these failures was carried out in early June followed by the application of asphalt to this section of Evelyn Road.”

Polley says in the next financial year 2021/22 the full length of Evelyn Road up to Coates Road will receive a second coat of chip seal.

“This is an accepted method to improve and strengthen an existing chip seal road surface.

“There are some areas where the footpath, kerb and channel along Evelyn Road will need to be repaired and these will be attended to prior to the application of the second coat of chip seal.

“There is no plan, nor funding available, to remove the existing road surface and road base and start again.”