Disappointing response from Auckland Transport (AT) re: Dust Nuisance

——– Forwarded Message ——–

Subject: Re: Auckland Transport – CAS-377612-G8P5K2 – Dust Nuisance
To: Info (AT) <Info@at.govt.nz>
From: Chris Wiltshire <chris@wiltshire.net>
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 2016 16:01:32 +1200

Hi Erwin,

Your generic email response failed to address anything specific which I raised in my initial notes to you. – Apart from the mention of the road name and the area.

While the council recognises the problems posed by dust nuisance, you have not said what your management strategy is, and how you intend to prevent this problem in the longer term. You’ve been specific about what you are not, and cannot do, but you have not outlined what the council is doing about this issue and what opportunities may exist for changes in the short – near term future.

—–

You comment on long dry spells, whereas my email said to you that just 2 days after the rain had packed in, the road had returned to a very dusty condition.

I mentioned how the condition of the road had been in gradual decline since the maintenance contract changed some 6 -7 years ago (it may even be ~8 now?). You made no reference to that.

I suggested that the decline in road condition may be as a result of changes in approach, applied under the newer (cheaper?) maintenance contract? – I implied by this, that truly, they had therefore failed to maintain the previous road quality, it has declined since they took the contract on.

I had asked whether the aggregate size used in the road had been reduced since it appears that it’s mainly smooth dust / smooth mud depending on whether it’s dry or wet. – I had suggested that a thorough re-grade with a mix of coarser aggregate may help to alleviate our particular issue and it may help to return our unsealed road to the previously more manageable state which we were used to, when we moved onto the road in 2000-2001.

I note that since my notification, the graders have been, that some aggregate has been dumped on top, and that since then it’s been left, lose, without any compaction. Most of this new top coat is now being pushed to the sides by traffic and you will have lost any opportunity to make any real difference to the road, within weeks we’ll be back to pot-holes and dust. – Effectively all that has been accomplished is the (temporary) removal of pot-holes. It’s still rutted and corrugated in places.

Please reconsider these points and reply with a suitable response to our particular situation.

(Copied to the Ahuroa Grapevine – www.ahuroa.nz, distributed to ~250 local households)

Regards,

Chris.

On 24/08/16 3:27 PM, Info (AT) wrote:
Dear Customer

Thank you for your enquiry regarding the dust nuisance you are presently experiencing on Martin Access Road, Makarau.

It is understandable that residents living close to the road get frustrated by dust nuisance, especially during the dry weather usually experienced over the summer months.

Dust nuisance on unsealed roads during dry periods is a long-standing problem nation-wide. In particular, the long dry spells create greater difficulties for maintenance of unsealed roads eg insufficient water for road grading, aggravated dust nuisance and impaired ride quality. In a more local regard, the ex-Rodney District Council area, with in the order of 700km of unsealed roads, has trialled numerous products and processes over the years with disappointing results. Treatments to date, have produced ‘short-term’ relief (1 – 3 months) but at a significant cost (typically $1,500 – $3,000 per site) and are considered economically unsustainable for long term management of dust nuisance. The products used rely on penetrating and saturating the unsealed pavement to bond the fine dust particles with larger aggregate so they are more difficult to mobilise in the air turbulence of passing vehicles. While dust suppressants are relatively inexpensive to purchase in concentrate form, preparation works, dilution and their application tend to be expensive as this is similarly time consuming and produces varying results dependant on site conditions. Auckland Transport is not able to assist with the application of dust suppressants to reduce the dust issues you are presently experiencing.

We realise our response may disappoint you however Auckland Transport’s funding levels have been set to maintain agreed levels of service that currently exclude dust suppression of unsealed roads.

Kind regards

Erwin | Customer Feedback Co-ordinator
Private Bag 92250, Auckland 1142
P 09 355 3553
www.AT.govt.nz