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Nukunuku roads tar-sealed at last

Nukunuku, Tonga


The people of Nukunuku can finally breathe a pit of relief as a large part of the roads was upgraded yesterday – Nov. 27 to tar-sealed with small crushed gravel topping.

Just recently, I wrote with great concern regarding the health of everything Nukunukuan as dust continually harassed the livings and the environment for the last two months heading to Christmas.

This time, I take this opportunity to thank Government, Ministry of Infrastructure, and the contractors, for finally reversing the situation.

I am not in any way implying that the progress we now witness alleviating us from our dusty ordeal has been a direct or indirect effect of my earlier letter. However, it is heartening to see progress has been made.

Before signing off, I wish to suggest something I believe it would help in the long run.

Normally, tar-seal involves a thin layer of tar sprayed on top of the compacted gravel surface. Then, smaller crushed gravels spread on top. At least, in my own observation! However, to my way of thinking, the road will be much better and even longer last should there be another spray of tar on top of the small gravel topping, rounded up with a pit of compaction.

A one-time tar layer is not good enough to resist erosion, especially beating rain. Not for any reasonable lifespan. And surely not at all cost-worthy if we are to keep reconstruct our roads every five years.

The reasons why I suggest a second tar layer and compaction, is to make the tar-tipped gravel, (on top of the first tar layer) thicker, therefore stronger. In comparison, gravel topping is largely loose, where after a few days the real surface is exposed to nature’s elements due to frequenting of transportations. It is then not a wonder that a larger part of the gravel topping can be found in heaps in the middle of the road and the roadsides. One will only wonder of the rationale behind these heaps of gravels.

In all, I thank you for the progress so far. Definitely a difference has been made. It is not too late to add another layer for better. At least we will welcome Christmas in a brighter note.

Witcliffe TM.