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Shoddy new roadworks melt in heat

New roadworks on Mt Glorious melting tar reservations bitumen
(Photoshopped sign for irony!)

Just because a road has been recently upgraded does not mean riders should trust new roadworks.

Consider the sobering example of shoddy roadworks that caused the death of a rider on a bridge near Goulburn.

Another case is the recent roadworks on the western approach to Mt Glorious, South East Queensland.

Less than a month after the roadworks were finished and the road returned to 80km/h, hot weather caused the road to literally melt.

This left the new roadworks treacherously slippery for motorcycle riders.

New roadworks on Mt Glorious
Shiny and slippery sections on new roadworks

Shoddy new roadworks

It seems the roadworks contractors did a shoddy job right from the start. Potholes quickly emerged and the road had to be resurfaced just weeks after reopening.

Now they appear to have added too much tar which melted in recent mid-30C weather, making it worse.

I inspected the road this week with riders from a Facebook site that reports on the road’s conditions and found the tar still gooey even on a 21C day.

New roadworks on Mt Glorious
Gooey tar on a 21C day!

We were able to pick up gummy pieces of tar and could see where the surface was coming loose from a vehicle doing a u-turn.

New roadworks on Mt Glorious
Roadworks coming apart where a vehicle has done a u-turn

At the posted speed of 80km/h, most motorcycles will feel squirmy on this section of new roadworks.

Rider activist David White says it is surprising that a rider has not come to grief on the corner.

While there is a yellow 50km/h advisory sign before the corner, he says most riders pass through at the official 80km/h posted speed.New roadworks on Mt Glorious speed

David does not advocate reducing the speed limit, but fixing the road properly. In fact, he has a petition to increase the speed limits across the mountain.

Queensland Main Roads Department replied to our inquiries saying they had placed an electronic warning sign on the most dangerous corner.

New roadworks on Mt Glorious
Whoops, wrong corner!

However, they posted the sign on the wrong corner, despite being provided with GPS co-ordinates.

New roadworks on Mt Glorious
Location of the dangerous corner

When advised of the error, they promised to change it and to fix the road.

Main Roads promises a fix

“We have inspected this section of the road, and will undertake some improvement works to the seal it this week,” spokesperson says.

“Works will take place across a 160 metre section, which includes the mentioned corner.

In the interim, we have also placed signage at this location to increase awareness of the road condition and to further improve safety for motorists. 

Our aim is to make motorcycling a safe and enjoyable experience for those who choose to ride.New roadworks on Mt Glorious

In return, motorcycle riders must also recognise their responsibilities – to ride sensibly and safely within the law, to be considerate of other road users and to set an example for others.”

Some legal advice

Riders should always ride to then conditions, but there is a valid expectation that newly completed roadworks will be safe.

However, that is obviously not aways the case.

Rider should alert authorities of dangerous roads conditions and shoddy roadworks.

They can also sue for crashes on shoddy roadworks.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers principal Malcolm Cumming says they have represented several riders who have crashed in shoddy roadworks.

“There is a general duty at common law to ensure that work that has been performed doesn’t put riders in a situation of danger,” says Malcolm.

“As a general principle where negligent road works or maintenance results in damage or injury there has been a breach of common law.”

  • Tell us about shoddy roadworks in your area! Leave your comments below.
  1. I live in rural NSW, if I was to alert authorities of dangerous roads conditions and shoddy roadworks in my general area, there would not be any time to actually ride. New work on major high way rough and bumpy. Then being repaired within a month.

  2. Why are road contractors so incompetent? Is it because they are not supervised & their work inspected by the Government agency responsible or is it because the contractors “donate” to the political party from which they get the work?

  3. Australian roads, built for Australian conditions. This country couldn’t build a decent road if it tried!
    This place isn’t the only country on earth that has extreme weather conditions, which is the usual garbage explanation given.
    Try going to Europe and see how they do it.
    And yes, not every road in all Euro states is brilliant but that’s because their road network is much more extensive. But most of all the important roads are well built and maintained.

  4. Sounds like they keep using the same incompetent Contractors they’ve previously used before some 4 to 5 years ago when they left loose gravel on several kilometres of Mt Glorious road including corners making it extremely dangerous for motorcycle riders. Main Roads and Council were advised of the danger and yet the loose gravel was never swept up and remained on the road up to 6 months after it was laid.

  5. This seems to explain the drive for lower speed limits, not only do they get the revenue from speeding fines but they can scrimp out on the quality of the road works to save a buck, a buck that lines someone’s pockets most likely.

  6. Unshielded vertical posts on armco & wire rope barriers are so dangerous they are being progressively banned in Europe
    yet road “authorities” in Australia are plastering our roads with these killer barriers.
    Studies in the US show that hitting these barriers is 3 to 10 times more likely to result in death than hitting a car.

    Roadworks on Brisbane’s M1 are an example.
    They’re actually safer with the concrete barriers during construction, than with the bare post barriers after construction.

    Roadworks shouldn’t be making roads more dangerous (except in Straya).

    “There is a general duty at common law to ensure that work that has been performed doesn’t put riders in a situation of danger,” says Malcolm.
    “As a general principle where negligent road works or maintenance results in damage or injury there has been a breach of common law.”
    – Maurice Blackburn Lawyers principal Malcolm Cumming .

  7. If Main Roads could do something correctly, such as properly supervise their contractors
    – how was such shoddy work was passed ?
    or put the warning sign in the correct place
    – they posted the sign on the wrong corner, despite being provided with GPS co-ordinates
    they might be useful.

    Their patronising lecture demonstrates the anti-motorcycle bias at Main Roads
    & this whole incident demonstrates incompetence
    so there’s no need for them to be lecturing others, we should be lecturing them
    & we will 🙂

  8. In a country where half the population is on a Govt Benefit ,our roads aren’t too bad at all .
    There just isn’t the money to fix everything .

    I ride a lot of Victorian roads ,Riverina highway ,the Hume ,plus roads up into the mountains .

    NSW roads are so much more in need of resurfacing, as apposed to Victorian roads .

    I try to ride to the Condition .
    On most Vicky back roads one can do Warp Speeds not seeing another sole for hours ,in NSW its keep it below the speed limit or Walk and Push.

    When you look at what has been done (and the costs in construction ) factor in the amount of people contributing their Taxes to roads ,,we aint doing to badly .

    I do a ride each week were I travel on Vickie and NSW roads and a Highway plus using a nice new Ferry to cross the Murray .

    The costs to do `just this` construction was astronomical ,look at the roads you use and admire the fact that its not still a gravel track (though some are just that), then ride to the Conditions .

    Accidents happen, that’s why they are called accidents .

    Its a nice day here ,so I’m off to practice what’ I’ve written

  9. Temp a steady 35C today from Fernvale to Mt Glorious for lunch, 1.30pm bikes returning to Fernvale found the road melted and a rider down! Quick phone call to another group who had almost reached that spot possibly averted multiple falls…!

  10. I remember riding through the Snowy Mountains many years ago and had a few big movements going through a couple of left and right hand bends at first I thought I had a flat tyre or maybe one of my wheel bearings was about to let go on my bike. It wasn’t till later I found out that they had resurfaced that section of road just before winter that year and put something in with the tar to stop it from freezing but in the summer months it would liquidfire and make the road surface very slippery to all road users.

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