MOTORISTS are reminded to drive to prevailing conditions as maintenance grading of unsealed roads continues to be disrupted in some parts of the MidCoast region.
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Severe drought conditions and lack of access to suitable water sources saw the suspension of MidCoast Council’s regular maintenance schedule in October last year. While recent rainfall has helped to get grading crews back on the job in some locations, a significant proportion of gravel roads remain in the maintenance backlog.
“Water is essential in compacting the road surface materials when we undertake grading of our unsealed roads”, explained Rob Scott, MidCoast Council’s Director of Infrastructure and Engineering Services. “It gives us a stronger and more durable result, and also helps in minimising the level of dust our equipment generates during the process”.
Like many other councils in drought-affected areas, MidCoast Council’s maintenance crews rely exclusively on reclaimed water sources during drought conditions. With travel to and from restricted water sources often making the exercise unviable, regular maintenance on gravel roads was reduced over previous months to only those areas within reasonable proximity to allowable access points.
Now, along with reclaimed water, Council will resume drawing water from traditional sources where creeks and rivers have sufficient flow and the impact on water levels is minimal. This will see maintenance grading recommence in areas nearby water access points.
While operating under challenging conditions, safety remains a priority on local roads.
“In those areas where the schedule remains suspended, we will continue to inspect roads for safety and performance as we always have, but we’re asking local motorists to report hazardous conditions using the ‘Report and Request’ form on our website so an inspection can be arranged”, Rob said.
Almost half of the region’s 3,581km road network is unsealed. Motorists using unsealed roads are urged to consider current road conditions and drive with caution.
For more information about roadworks taking place across the region, visit www.midcoast.nsw.gov.au/roads