Frequently asked questions
We regularly get questions about different aspects of our roads from future plans, to maintenance methods and why we do what we do. See below for some of our most frequently asked questions and their answers.
How does a pothole form?
A pothole forms when the road seal fails and water makes its way under the road surface, causing the pavement to deteriorate.
What is heavy patching?
Heavy patching refers to road repairs involving the excavation of a small section of damaged road. The section is then repaired and patched. Heavy patching can be used to repair a single pavement failure or before a road reseal, to repair any failures prior to the new seal being applied.
What is resealing?
Resealing restores a worn road surface and protects the underlying road structure.
Resealing can only be undertaken if the underlying pavement is in good condition. If not, repairs need to be done before the reseal, including potholes, edge breaks and heavy patching for more extensive damage.
Resealing roads is a great way to prevent deterioration and get a longer life out of our roads.
What is Re-sheeting?
Gravel re-sheeting is the process we use to maintain the life of an unsealed road surface.
We add gravel over the full width and length of a specified section of unsealed road. This is undertaken to restore the thickness of the pavement in order to provide adequate support for vehicles using the road.
We don’t always re-sheet a whole road, we apply new gravel to smaller sections as well.
Why does it take so long to finish the job?
There are many factors that impact the timeframes that apply to roadworks projects – weather being one of the main reasons.
Depending on the type of project, we stage the works, with a temporary seal applied to allow traffic to use the road as we check for any weak spots, that may need to be fixed before the final seal.
Final seals are mostly applied in warmer months which may make the project stretch out longer, but the road has been in use during the stages.
How much does it cost to repair a road?
Repairing and reconstructing a road are completely different.
It costs more than $1million per kilometre to reconstruct a road and approximately $50,000 per kilometre to re-sheet a road.
Part of our approach is to focus on sustaining or extending the life of the road and in doing so minimise ongoing maintenance costs.
How do we prioritise what roads we work on?
After assessing the roads and bridges across the region our engineers plan their annual works programs carefully, taking into account factors such as the volume of traffic each road carries, the age and condition of the road, what maintenance costs are required to maintain a safe travel route and whether the road poses a safety risk for our community.
Works are broken down into major projects that require rehabilitation or reconstruction; and maintenance projects that require re-sheeting, grading and pothole patching.
Why only complete part of a road when there are other areas of the same road that need attention too?
When a long road needs significant work it isn’t feasible to do the entire stretch of road all at once.
Concentrating on up to one kilometre at a time provides the best outcome for commuters as wait times are more manageable, otherwise we would see significant traffic build-up the longer it takes traffic to slow through the work zone.
We also need to take into account that while the surface may be damaged, the sub-surface can be in a completely different condition along the length of the road, requiring a different method to reconstruct which might require different contractors and equipment.