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Gravel roads trial underway

Heavy vehicles upgrading Potts Road, Taradale.

We are carrying out an 18 month trial to determine the best way to reconstruct and stabilise gravel roads.

Monday 12 August 2019

Mount Alexander Shire Council is conducting a trial to improve the way it reconstructs and stabilises sections of unsealed roads.

“Like everyone who uses local roads we want fewer corrugations and potholes. The aim of this trial is to work out the most efficient way to achieve long-lasting improvements,” said Phil Josipovic, Director Infrastructure and Development, Mount Alexander Shire Council.

The trial will investigate seven separate treatments on two different roads. Wear and tear on the road surface will be monitored over 18 months with the view to identifying the best treatment.

The selected roads are Potts Road, Taradale (near the primary school, from the train line to Olivers Lane) and Woodbrook Road, Walmer (from Fogartys Gap Road to White Gum Road).

We wanted two distinct areas so we could compare the results. Both roads have a long history of requiring regular maintenance,” said Mr Josipovic.

The trial is being conducted by Council in partnership with contractor Stabilco.

To determine the treatment options Council’s Works Unit liaised with other councils and determined the latest industry best-practice.

“We’ve used specialised road stabilising equipment and made changes to the way we screen, mix and compact the road material,” said Mr Josipovic.

The trial includes the use of binding emulsions, dust suppression agents and clay additives.

Mr Josipovic said maintaining and upgrading unsealed roads is an ongoing challenge for Council.

“Maintaining, grading and resurfacing our 880 kilometres of unsealed roads is a massive undertaking by our Works Unit and is something that we are continually trying to improve,” he said.

“Most of our unsealed roads were built decades ago and the road construction process has changed considerably over this time.

“Reconstructing gravel roads is very costly and we’re grateful for the $497,000 grant we received for the trial through the Fixing Country Roads program of Regional Roads Victoria.

“This is a great opportunity for us to identify treatments that work with our material, which we could then apply as part of our resheeting program on high traffic gravel roads.

“Along with benefiting road users, extending the life of unsealed roads means our Works Unit can spend more time on the planned grading and maintenance program rather than unplanned road repairs.

“The team will continue to work on the regular road grading and reseal programs while we undertake the trial.”

Image: Potts Road in Taradale will be closely monitored during the 18 month trial.

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