ANGRY traders want Leongatha’s Bair Street sealed properly after the street melted during the high temperatures last week and yesterday (Monday).
Bair Street became so hot, the tar began to melt, sticking to the feet of pedestrians as they crossed the road.
People could be seen jumping across sticky patches of asphalt to avoid sticking to the road.
VicRoads attempted to patch up the road by pouring grit across the tar, however dust from the short term solution only worsened the situation.
A group of business owners from Bair Street couldn’t believe the state of the road considering the condition of neighbouring McCartin Street was fine.
“It’s just disgusting,” Shan’s Lingerie and Leisure owner Shirleyanne Wright said.
“In today’s age, it’s the pits. When it gets hot the tar melts and they’ve very kindly come and put down a bit of rock, but now we’ve got dust flying everywhere.”
Ms Wright said the road had softened before, but this was the worst it had been.
Deb Watchorn from the Leongatha Newsagency said the condition of the road was having a negative impact on shops.
“Dust is camping up from the rock they’re using to fix the problem and it’s blowing into the shop and damaging our merchandise,” she said.
“On top of that, people are walking into our stores with tar stuck to their shoes and it’s damaging our floors. It’s just a really unpleasant environment to shop and park in.”
There were also reports of small stones flicking pedestrians as they walked along the footpath after the grit was put down.
VicRoads acting regional director Michael McCarthy didn’t explain why Bair Street was melting whilst others were not, but said the incident was a rare result of extremely hot weather.
“The whole state suffered extreme weather conditions late last week, with temperatures reaching around 40 degrees in the South Gippsland region,” he said.
“These extreme temperatures caused the road seal to bleed in various locations, including Bair Street in Leongatha.
“To lower the impact of this, extra grit was rolled into the road surface on Thursday, with the loose gravel swept back onto the road surface again on Friday.”
Mr McCarthy said VicRoads would continue to monitor the area and respond as required if the region experienced similar heat in coming months, however traders are demanding a permanent solution.
“Putting these screenings on it is doing nothing, just creating dust,” Mrs Wright said.
“Now you can see the tracks of the cars and it’s just wet tar again. In the worst case scenario, they’d have to reseal it and while that would affect traffic, that would only be a day.”
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