Council manages an extensive roads network.
The vast majority of our roads, 758.3 kilometres, are unsealed and there are 377.38 kilometres of sealed roads which includes 67.6 km Regional Roads (state road) and 4.77 km parking lane adjacent to highway.
There are 52 timber bridges and 79 concrete and other bridges throughout the Local Government Area.
20T LOAD RESTRICTION FOR BALD NOB ROAD, DUNDEE
Council recently resolved that a 20 tonne gross load limit be applied to the section of Bald Nob Road between Morven Road and the Gwydir Highway. This load limit has been set at a level that aims to minimise the negative impact on local landholders. Local operators can apply to Council for an exemption that will be assessed on a case by case basis.
This route is of significant benefit to motorists, with the alternate option of remaining on the highway network requiring approximately 50 kilometres travel distance rather than 12 kilometres via Bald Nob Road. The road provides access to a small number of residences, and it is estimated that in excess of 90% of vehicle movements are of a regional rather than local nature. The route is gazetted for B-Double use and provides an important freight linkage between northern and eastern destinations.
The reasons for the implementation of this limit is to reduce the safety risks caused by the road conditions, and highlight the issue that Council cannot and should not fund this road that serves more as a state highway freight route than a local road. The decision to implement these limits was made unanimously by Councillors with full support from the Glen Innes Roads Consultative Committee. We are hopeful that new funding announced by the State Government will address this issue, and Council encourages the community to ‘make a noise’.
Although Council fully supports the ongoing use of the road as a regional link, it finds itself in a position whereby local ratepayers are faced with prohibitive upgrade and ongoing costs that cannot be met. Council intends to continue pursuing funding to bring this road to an acceptable standard, and at the same time campaigning for it to be added to the regional road network, funded by the State Government.
Landowners and transport companies who access local properties via Bald Nob Road and require a load limit exemption are asked to contact Council’s Department of Infrastructure Services on 02 6730 2371.
ROAD GRADING PROGRAM DELAYS DUE TO LACK OF WATER
During drought conditions many roads cannot be graded because of the lack of moisture that is needed to properly compact the road surface. Council’s water trucks are now not able to access water sufficiently close to roads that require grading. Unfortunately the continuation of the current dry conditions is therefore having an impact on Council’s road maintenance grading program.
Dry grading of roads is largely a waste of time and money. Corrugations can be cut off, however the improved surface condition will only last a short while before corrugating again. In addition, dry grading leaves uncompacted, dry material on the roads, particularly on corners, and valuable material is lost as excess dust.
Council’s roads crews have now ceased road pavement grading during this dry period and instead will be undertaking clearing and drainage works to improve roadside conditions.
Council recently contracted certified bridge engineers to assess the bridge over the Furracabad Creek on Furracabad Road.
The timber structures were found to be in very poor condition and due to significant deterioration of substructure elements, it was recommended that the bridge be closed to vehicular traffic immediately. Council unfortunately has little choice but to comply with this recommendation due to public safety concerns, and kindly advises that the bridge will be closed with immediate effect.
Council regrets any inconvenience that these closures may cause, and thanks residents and motorists in advance for their co-operation. Any enquiries in relation to this matter can be directed to Council’s Department of Infrastructure Services on 6730 2371.
LOAD LIMIT REDUCTION ON BRIDGE OVER MANN RIVER - SHANNON VALE ROAD
Council recently contracted certified bridge engineers to assess the bridge over the Mann River on Shannon Vale Road. Assessment of this structure has found that the main structural elements have undergone some decay and a 10T load restriction is recommended for the crossing. It has also been recommended that the existing 10km/h speed restriction should be maintained.
Council unfortunately has little choice but to comply with this recommendation due to public safety concerns, and kindly advises that a 10T load restriction will apply with immediate effect. Signage has been put in place to notify motorists of this change and Council is currently investigating options for the rehabilitation of this bridge.