Oil Leaks Threaten New Road Lifespan

Oil leaks on Rue de Paris outside the Police Station just days after RMS and Downer completed tar sealing of the road. It is not known which vehicle caused it.

By Jonas Cullwick

Oil leaks from motor vehicles threaten the longevity of tar seal roads, according to the latest update report on the progress of the Port Vila Urban Development Project (PVUDP).

This is a fact many people in Vanuatu, particularly vehicle owners do not know.

Large areas of black patches of clearly identifiable oil leaks that people can see on recently tar sealed roads in Port Vila is proof of the above statement, or is it just plain ignorance on the part of some vehicle owners.

Some pictures taken just days after RMS and Downer completed road sealing works on Rue de Paris outside the Police station and outside Chew Store on Rue Bougainville showed patches of oil leaks.

"Even on Kumul Highway in the Port Vila CBD there are patches of oil leaks all along that road.

“Oil leaks from motor vehicles threaten the longevity of tar sealed roads.

"Petroleum products such as oil can loosen small stones on the road surface,” the update report on the PVUDP says.

It adds: “When these breakaway from the surface, small holes are created and with heavy rains these become larger holes and eventually can become potholes,” it explains.

PVUDP remains hopeful that road safety inspections will lead to a reduction in oil spills on Port Vila’s newly sealed roads.

On a related note, following the Council of Ministers’ 11th hour decision to extend the deadline for renewal of 2017 road tax on March 31 to the end of May, the frantic situation at the Public Works Department (PWD) workshop where vehicles are checked for roadworthiness has suddenly gone dead quiet.

It is hoped that people who have not yet renewed their 2017 road tax are not waiting for the last minute. Because it is certain there will not be time enough to complete the number of vehicles still not inspected and people will be forced to pay the surcharges for the tax for not meeting the new deadline.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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