Wednesday, April 24, 2024

More funding to fill ACT potholes

The ACT Government has announced it will increase road maintenance funding to $153 million over the next four years in response to damage caused by recent weather events. 

The Government says the strategic maintenance program was developed based on research by the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) to support a new approach to maintenance, improving safety, supporting freight movements and improving Canberra’s liveability. 

ACT Minister for Transport and City Services, Chris Steel said the research-led approach aimed to extend the life of Canberra’s existing high-quality roads through proactive resealing, while undertaking more rehabilitation work including using an up to 150% increase in asphalting. 

“Our new road maintenance program represents an 52% increase in expenditure on road maintenance to deliver the good road conditions that Canberra drivers expect,” Minister Steel said. 

“This maintenance program is evidence-based and will have a greater focus [on] road rehabilitation and use of asphalt, as well as ensuring that we continue our focus on preventative resealing.”

With the annual road resurfacing program now underway, this new maintenance program will extend the life of Canberra’s roads by 20 years through additional resealing measures adopted across our rolling roads program, the Minister said.

“Increased investment in our annual road maintenance program now will see resurfacing of the network grow by 268,000 square metres a year to cover an area of over 1.26 million square metres resurfaced per year going forward, concentrating on arterial and collector roads.” 

Minister Steel said the changing climate, heavier vehicles, and greater than anticipated ACT population growth had accelerated road degradation and the likelihood of defects such as potholes. 

“It’s no secret that roads across south-eastern Australia have taken an absolute battering over the past few years with constant La Nina weather cycles,” he said. 

“Since 2020, Canberra has continued to experience heavy and frequent rain events. In October, we experienced Canberra’s wettest month since records began, with more than 2,800 pothole repairs undertaken across the Territory in that month alone. 

“This long term program will see smoother, more resilient roads, that result in safer travel and better drivability, meaning Canberra drivers will save on fuel and vehicle maintenance.” 

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