Focus On Roads To Include Safety, Width And Gravel Maintenance
Gympie Regional Council is turning its attention the region’s roads in an effort to improve safety and quality.
Currently, 60 kilometres of Council’s roads do not have the required standard road width, Gympie Regional Council’s Assets Manager Sam Murphy said.
“What we find when roads are not wide enough for the amount of traffic that use them is a decrease in safety but also an increase in cost when it comes to maintaining the road shoulder.
“This is because vehicles are regularly driving on the gravel shoulder and edge of bitumen when approached by another vehicle.
“We are working to rectify this,” Mr Murphy said.
The proposed 2020/2021 budget will look to have money allocated to road widening which includes successfully securing state funding. However, approximately $35 million is required to widen all the roads in the region to the correct standard.
Furthermore, 13 kilometres of the gravel roads in our region meet council traffic volume standards for sealing, however to seal these, $12 million is needed. As more residents use our road networks, the cost to maintain a sealed road becomes cheaper than maintaining a gravel road.
Gympie region Mayor Glen Hartwig also expressed Council’s motivation to improve the region’s roads.
“I don’t think it is any secret that Council has, in the past, underperformed when it comes to the maintenance of our rural road network,” Mayor Hartwig said.
“Take gravel roads for example. Based on the gravel roads practices review, Council’s expenditure on gravel replacement is around $700,000 less than it should be,” Mayor Hartwig said.
“These are the conversations we as a council are having and need to continue to have to make sure we get back to where we should be, not only financially but also from a road user and resident perspective,” Mayor Hartwig said.