Riders should be aware that spring and summer is the season for resurfacing roadworks in most southern areas because the warmer weather makes asphalt more stable and easier to compact.
NSW alone has more than 175km of road resurfacing scheduled over the next few months. However, asphalt resurfacing occurs all year round in Queensland, north NSW and northern parts of South Australia and Western Australia.
Roads and Maritime Service Regional Maintenance Director John Dinan says asphalting work starting this month includes the Ballina Bypass (Pacific Highway), the Bruxner Highway near Alstonville, Pacific Highway where to intersects with the Oxley Highway, and at Coffs Harbour.
Oxley Highway campaigner Ken Healey says “lazy road crew” left “heaps of gravel” on six corners with no warning, causing five riders to crash over the weekend.
“Lazy bastards think it’s funny, Ken says.
“Caused five riders to come down on the weekend. Three on Saturday and two on Sunday.
“One needed the helicopter due to a broken leg.”
Ken warned riders recently of the roadwork angers.
You should always ride to the conditions, but be particularly cautious if you see any evidence of recent roadworks activity, whether there is a sign or not.
Dangers for riders
Poor roads, inferior roadworks and incomplete cleanup after roadworks are particularly dangerous to motorcyclists, causing crashes and even fatalities.
We have reported on many of these incidents and there are many Facebook sites designed to alert riders of road conditions.
There is even a Bad Roads Rally planned for Victoria before the state election.
Riders should also check relevant websites provided by road authorities and automobile clubs that list roadworks.
You can also use some of these sites to report dangerous road conditions.
John says there is about 2.5 tonnes of asphalt per cubic metre of road and they can lay up to 2000 tonnes of asphalt per day. They target resurfacing 2.3% of all tarmac roads a year.
“Asphalt is safe, smooth and durable and is up to 100% reusable,” he says.
“It’s also flexible and new technologies used is making asphalt a more sustainable choice for road surfaces.”
Australian Asphalt Pavement Association NSW Executive Director Dougall Broadfoot says motorists are not allowed to ride on newly laid asphalt until it has cooled to below 60C.
“If the new asphalt surface is not allowed to cool down sufficiently, passing vehicles may affect the smoothness of the surface before it sets,” he says.
“By driving over soft asphalt it may create bumps and grooves on the surface, which would be a less smooth journey for motorists. An uneven surface also causes water to pool in the grooves.
“So please be patient when near worksites, for the safety of yourself and workers. Follow the instruction of traffic controllers and the reduced speed limit of 40km/h when work is carried out.”