MidCoast Council pressures St Hilliers to fix new roadworks completed in the stage two Bucketts Way reconstruction

It's called bitumen bleeding and it's affecting new roadworks at the intersection of Manchester Street and The Bucketts Way at Tinonee.
It's called bitumen bleeding and it's affecting new roadworks at the intersection of Manchester Street and The Bucketts Way at Tinonee.

Bitumen bleeding in hot weather on new roadworks at Tinonee is driving complaints to MidCoast Council.

The intersection of Manchester Street and The Bucketts Way at Tinonee “melted” on January 6 when the temperature hit mid-30 degrees. Residents watched the road surface become shiny and sticky and reported to MidCoast Council that tar and gravel was lifting from the road surface and sticking to vehicle tyres and shoes. The unusual appearance of the road surface also caused motorists to overshoot or cut the corner to avoid the tar, according one complaint.

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The intersection is the busiest in Tinonee and formed part of MidCoast Council’s stage two reconstruction of the Bucketts Way. It awarded the $2 million contract to St Hilliers to provide a road with “a design life of 40 years” from the Bucketts Way landfill to Tinonee and according to the St Hilliers website, a 10-point list of works includes the pavement reconstruction and bitumen seal installation.

The road surface at the major intersection in Tinonee "melted" on January 6 when the temperature reached around 32 degrees.

The road surface at the major intersection in Tinonee "melted" on January 6 when the temperature reached around 32 degrees.

MidCoast Council’s manager of projects and engineering is Rhett Pattison and he says council has been “monitoring the seal at this intersection from the outset and have been in communication with the contractor since early December when temperatures rose and it showed signs of bitumen bleeding.”

”The sealing contractor has investigated the issue and accepted responsibility for it,” Mr Pattison said.

We are currently awaiting their proposed rectification method for our approval and are keeping the pressure on them to complete the work as soon as possible, however at this point we don’t have a commitment from them as to when this will happen.

MidCoast Council's manager of projects and engineering, Rhett Pattison

“In the meantime, council operations crews are monitoring the intersection and applying a temporary grit mat when the bitumen bleeds through. All costs for temporary treatment are being charged back to the contractor.       

“The exact cause of the issue has not been determined, however it could be due to the contractor using a higher bitumen content, or incorrect cutter content; cutter is generally used to reduce the viscosity to aid application and promote better initial aggregate adhesion. 

“The current hot weather and heavy turning of vehicles at the intersection are also adding to the ongoing and quick deterioration of the surface.”

The road surface lifted and stuck to tyres and the thongs of local residents.

The road surface lifted and stuck to tyres and the thongs of local residents.