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Nagambie Bypass melts in searing heat

Last week's heatwave caused damage to the Nagambie Bypass when the heat caused the tar to 'melt'.

JENNA BISHOP January 22, 2014 4:49am

Last week's heatwave caused the bitumen on the Nagambie Bypass to 'melt', leaving exposed tar on the road.


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Last week’s searing temperatures have left the Nagambie Bypass with considerable damage after the tar ‘bled’ and melted along some sections of the newly-built highway, which is not even 12 months old.

Sections stretching from each end of the bypass were left with runny tar and loose stones after four consecutive days of 40°C from Tuesday to Friday.

VicRoads regional director Bryan Sherritt said the bleeding was likely caused by a combination of incorrect quantities of sealing additives and the extreme temperatures.

‘‘During the sealing process, additives are mixed in with the bitumen to ensure that the bitumen has the correct viscosity, and will adhere to both the road surface and the stones that are laid on the road,’’ he said.

‘‘If everything goes to plan these additives evaporate out of the bitumen soon after it is applied. However when an incorrect amount of additives are used and hot weather occurs, the additives in the bitumen reactivate causing the bitumen to become runny once again, resulting in the road becoming sticky.’’

Mr Sherritt said generally just one to two per cent of sprayed seals would result in bleeding, but extreme heat conditions had caused several roads in the region to bleed.

He said VicRoads would assess the road and undertake repair works, including line marking, as soon as possible.

In the meantime, VicRoads advises people to drive to the road conditions and observe all safety warnings, including temporary speed limits for safety.

VicRoads will be closely monitoring the condition of the road and maintenance crews will be on standby.

‘‘VicRoads asks drivers to exercise caution when travelling along these roads,’’ Mr Sherritt said.

‘‘Drivers are also advised to be aware that vehicle breakdowns are more likely in these extreme heat conditions, so please be considerate of other drivers.’’

Motorists can phone VicRoads on 131170 if they see any road damage.

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