A waste oil alternative is being trialled on an unsealed road in the Wakatipu Basin, Queenstown Lakes District Council roading manager Ian Marshall said.
“We are testing three differing applications on three separate sections of Morven Ferry Road,’ Mr Marshall said.
Council contractors, staff and elected members observed the trial yesterday, which involved the application of a ‘light seal’ and two differing ‘chip seal’ surfaces.
The ‘light seal’ has already been trialled in Central Otago with positive results.
“We are expecting that the different methods will vary in terms of success and we have asked residents to help us in the trial by giving feedback over the next few months,” Mr Marshall said.
It was hoped the new method would see a reduction in the use of oiling and an extended period of dust suppression with the new application lasting for at least three years.
“When oil is first applied we have issues with it coating vehicles and of course of more concern is putting the waste oil in the environment,” Mr Marshall said.
While oiling was an affordable option - given the hundreds of kilometres of unsealed roads in the district - council was keen to explore other cost effective, more environmentally friendly alternatives.
“Doing nothing is not an option either. Dust can become a real safety issue and it is also a real blight for people living anywhere in proximity to an unsealed road,” Mr Marshall said.
He was optimistic that the trial could offer a new solution in the community in future years.