Wet winter takes toll on local roads
Published: 03 Sep 2020 4:09pm
Consistent rainfall in recent weeks and the prediction of storm activity in early Spring has Wagga Wagga City Council civil works crews on regular patrols for pothole repairs across the city.
The damage to local roads caused by the wet weather has been higher and more significant than previous recent years due to above average rainfall in June and August.
This has also combined with the poor condition of bitumen seals and the quality of pavement material underneath.
Council’s Director Operations Warren Faulkner said the consistent prolonged rainfall will have a significant impact on the integrity of the sealed road network, in particular those roads carrying high volumes of vehicles and heavy traffic.
He said the surface water on the road is able to ingress into the pavement creating soft spots and subsequently potholes as vehicles travel over them and “pump” out the material.
“It is one of Council’s ongoing challenges. Potholes are always a community concern and are reflective of the quality of the road, especially after prolonged wet weather,” Mr Faulkner said.
“Areas which experience high traffic flows are always worst affected and these are the areas where we concentrate our resources.
“We have patrols working along a 1200km network of local sealed roads to keep the repairs up. Council also relies on public feedback to identify where attention is required and we respond to that as soon as possible.”
Mr Faulkner said Council is looking to refocus its expenditure to ensure more proactive and preventative maintenance measures are undertaken on the sealed road network.
“Ideally, we should be undertaking more crack sealing and bitumen reseals in a shorter timeframe, but funding does become an issue,” Mr Faulkner said.
“We are focusing on how we can improve the ‘water-proofing’ of our sealed roads, thus increasing the useful life of the pavement.”
Federal and State Government funding programs such as Roads to Recovery and Fixing Local Roads are a great opportunity to rehabilitate and improve the network, but Mr Faulkner added “we need to be smarter in the way we do things”.
Lake Albert Road ($4.8M) and Kooringal Road ($2M) were recently funded for rehabilitation works, and the Reseal Program ($2.2M) and Pavement Rehab Program ($3.7M) allows Council to progress its road works program across the network.
Council is preparing grant submissions for funding up to $5M in road works to be undertaken in the 2021/22 financial year. Dobney Avenue and Pearson Street are identified in those submissions.
Motorists will continue to see Council’s hotmix and jet-patcher units operating across the city and along rural roads as crews work to repair recent damage.
Community members can report pothole damage to Council through the Snap Send Solve app on their smart phone, through Council’s website at wagga.nsw.gov.au/servicerequests or by lodging a report through Customer Service at the Civic Centre or by calling 1300 292 442
POTHOLE PATROL: Wagga Wagga City Council civil works crews are repairing road damage across the city and along outlying rural routes after recent heavy rainfall.