Port Macquarie-Hastings Council wins Planning and Building Award for innovative management of its sealed roads

Port Macquarie-Hastings Council has been recognised for improvements in roads maintenance that will see the roads resealing cycle halved.

At the Regional Development Innovation Awards held in Coffs Harbour, council took out the Planning and Building Award for innovative management of its sealed roads network across the Port Macquarie-Hastings region.

In 2014/15, council fundamentally changed its process for managing sealed roads, adopting a geographical zone based approach to road resealing which has significantly reduced the cycle in which local roads are resealed, from 25 years to 12 years.

Through internal process improvement, asset management changes and community engagement, council has improved the safety of the local sealed road network, reduced maintenance costs and increased efficiencies in the use of rates revenue, council director Andrew Doig. 

“Maintaining and improving the condition of our road networks is a high priority for the local community,” Mr Doig said.

“Council have listened to our community, and now have a system in place that addresses the condition of deteriorating roads faster, maximises maintenance budgets and increases the lifespan of existing road assets across the region.”

The transition to the new programming and preparation practices has resulted in council being able to reseal approximately 8 per cent of its entire 875km sealed road network each year.

In comparison to previous years, council is now able to reseal more roads, more often due to reduced costs and best practice operational improvements. The change to a geographical zoned approach to road resealing was first trialled in Bonny Hills in 2014/15.

The results of this pilot project were assessed and the process improved using feedback provided from neighbouring Mid North Coast Councils through a series of roads best practice workshops.

“We undertook a complete overhaul and review of the existing sealed road network in 2015, and it’s great to be recognised for improvements made to deliver a more suitable and cost effective solution to our local community,” added Mr Doig.

Council will invest more than $35 million in road and transport infrastructure, maintenance and upgrades during the 2017/2018 financial year.