Shoddy new roadworks melt in heat

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.

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.”

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