The good weather of the past few weeks has made the tar boil on County Tipperary roads, with claims that drivers are driving in “slush”. While people have sizzled in temperatures touching the high 20s, road temperatures have soared to over 50 degrees, putting them on a par with places such as Death Valley in California.
Senior engineer Michael F Hayes revealed that road tar can sustain temperatures into the 40s, but the emulsions they use can’t handle the boiling weather, causing the tar to melt. Where possible, the council is treating the roads with chippings.
Mayor Ger Darcy claimed that melting tar was damaging farm machinery and he had witnessed a round baler that was unable to take in grass because of the problem. And Cllr John Hogan told the July meeting of North Tipperary County Council that it was a “serious issue”, claiming that driving on some roads was “like driving through slush”.
He said it was the “first time in 15 years” to see tar melting in such a huge amount and urged that the council look at the type of material that is being used.
However, though we may have basked in good weather for the past few weeks, less favourable conditions are due to descend, with heavy rain due today, a thunderstorm on Thursday and light showers on Friday.