Questions raised over road resurfacing

East Auckland resident Alex Simich wants to know why a street in his neighbourhood is being resurfaced when in his opinion it looked to be in perfect condition already. Times photo Wayne Martin

Alex Simich is not the first east Auckland local to wonder why a seemingly flawless road in the community is being ripped up and resurfaced.

The Eastern Beach resident says he can’t understand why Vivian Wilson Drive, which is at the bottom of his street, is being resurfaced when to his eye it looked to be in perfect condition already.

When the Times visited Simich on January 20, more than a dozen contractors were working to lay new seal in a section of the street.

Numerous road cones blocked off part of Vivian Wilson Drive while workers wearing high-vis vests directed traffic around the heavy machinery.

“It’s a mess [now] but it was good, it was 100 per cent before they started,” Simich says.

“They ripped the road up. What you see [with the new seal laid] is exactly the way it was, only black.

“It’s a waste of money and you see it happening everywhere.”

Simich says he regularly drives along Somerville Road in Howick and believes it is in greater need of attention than Vivian Wilson Drive was.

The money used to repair or resurface roads that are already in perfect condition is better spent on more important and urgent roading projects around Auckland, he says.

He’s contacted Howick ward councillor Sharon Stewart to express his views on the issue and says he also plans to talk to Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown.

Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan says a short section of Vivian Wilson Drive from Bucklands Beach Road to Aylmer Court is included in the organisation’s 2020-21 resurfacing programme.

“This road has been examined by Auckland Transport engineers and the work is needed to keep the surface waterproof and to maintain good skid resistance.

“The road surface deteriorates over time due to traffic and environmental factors.

“The existing surface of this section of road is dated to 1992 and is well past its normal resurfacing time-frame.

“The estimated cost for this work is a little less than $30,000.”

Hannan says AT’s budget for resurfacing works in the Howick Local Board area for 2020/21 financial year is $3.8 million.

“We can assure residents AT endeavours to maintain the road network to the appropriate standards and in the most cost-effective manner for residents and ratepayers.”

The issue of local roads that appear to the untrained eye to be in perfect condition being repaired or resurfaced has been raised on social media on numerous occasions in recent years.

One post on a community Facebook page in late 2020 drew almost 100 comments, many of which complained about the work being unnecessary.

One page member described it as a “complete waste of time and money”.

A number of roads across east Auckland have been worked on in recent months.

A letter delivered late last year to residents in Middlefield Drive, Dannemora, states AT and its contractor Fulton Hogan would be undertaking chip seal resurfacing work on the road.

Under the heading, “Reasons for the work”, the letter says: “As part of maintaining the Auckland Transport road network, certain defects have been identified on the road.

“The repairs and resurfacing of the road will extend the road’s service life, as well as improve the safety performance of the road.”