The NZ Transport Agency is supporting Whangarei District Council to place chip seal onto an additional 2.5km of roads addressing health concerns caused by dust from logging industry traffic.
NZTA and Whangarei District Council will jointly fund extensions to existing sealed sections along an area of Wrights Rd/McCardle Rd which is affected by dust. Each will share the $1.3m cost of the work.
The additional sections, which total 2.5km, are near residential properties where dust is most likely to create a nuisance because of their close distance to the road.
The Whangarei District Council looked at various options and has determined that chip sealing was the best practical option to reduce potential adverse health effects of dust exposure at these locations.
“The agency understands the concerns caused by dust for residents along Northland’s vast rural and unsealed road network”, says NZTA Northland regional director, Ernst Zöllner.
“We’re delighted to be able to support Whangarei District Council to manage dust issues through their maintenance programmes,” he says.
The support follows NZTA initiated research and guidance carried out in 2015 and 2016.
The independent research which quantified the impacts of dust exposure on unsealed roads and how best to approach mitigation assessment is now available to local authorities to help them seek funding assistance from their current National Land Transport Programme funding, through NZTA.
NZTA is also working with Local Government New Zealand to investigate the impacts of unsealed dust further, and to develop a national framework and guidance for helping Road Controlling Authorities to mitigate those impacts.
It is also continuing to work closely with the Northland Transport Alliance to understand the extent of dust issues across Northland and the best strategy to reduce its impact.