Their work is part of Infrastructure Cook Islands’ road improvements programme that is intended to also address pavement defects, improve ride quality and increase safe travel for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians.
Cement has been used on Rarotonga extensively for the past five years, said project manager Gareth Clayton, and dating back to the works to asphalt the town area in 2012. It is now in the mix of the Tupapa road works.
The road works at Tupapa will extend from Chillies hair salon to the KAPS store in Matavera and beyond – approximately 5.6km of road improvement.
Clayton said cement stabilisation of road pavements was a common form of road construction and used to improve the performance characteristics of the pavement materials.
“It is used to help achieve the required design parameters for the road pavements,” he explained. “Cement acts to hold and bind things together and is used globally where appropriate to improve pavement.
“Stabilisation also has a number of other benefits including improving rut resistance and durability of the pavement, where the basecourse layer is stabilised it also assists contractors during road construction by ‘holding the surface’ which allows for reduced construction timeframes.”
The road had been repaired last year, but there were no deficiencies in the road seal last year, Clayton said. “Cement stabilisation is just a different method of road construction allowing a different way of achieving the road design and performance requirements.”
The current road works are part of Infrastructure’s ongoing asset management and improvement programme to the main road, Ara Tapu.
Road improvements for Rarotonga are planned over the next three to five years, however road maintenance is ongoing – these include the main road, back road, connecting roads and valley roads.
“Initial improvement works have been completed in a number of locations around the island and the scope includes widening, reconstruction and re-shaping of the pavement, provision of road side drainage and a two coat chip seal surface to prepare the road for the application of an asphalt surfacing in the future.“
Members of the public are asked to slow down and be aware during the road works, disruptions to the public’s access to the main road and travel can be expected.
Temporary speed restrictions and lane closures will be put in place by Triad, the contractor as part of required site safety and traffic management during the works.
Road closures and detours will be advised as required; Infrastructure will work to limit the impact to the public as far as practicable and appreciate the public’s understanding as these works are completed. –