Pothole repairs ahead after NSW Govt allocates $500 million for regional roads
Wet and stormy weather and floods in recent months have left regional roads in New South Wales in a widespread state of disrepair. With road safety warnings issued by police before the Christmas break, state authorities have been scrambling to roll out pothole repair operations on dangerously damaged roads with limited time and resources. This month, the NSW Government has announced a $500 million funding package to help local councils fix regional roads throughout the state.
In this article, we’re examining the context for this funding injection – including the state of regional and rural roads in NSW – and how operators will deliver long-lasting pothole repairs.
Road quality issues in NSW
Potholes and other weather-related issues have been plaguing regional NSW roads for years, according to the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics. In fact, poor quality roads were identified as a key contributor to the annual road toll in the federal 2022 Joint Select Committee on Road Safety report, released in March 2022.
“… higher fatality rates in regional and remote areas can be explained by higher speeds, combined with poorly maintained roads and a lack of roadside safety infrastructure.”
Section 1.31, ‘Road trauma in regional and remote areas’
With rural roads already often reported to be loose, unsealed and potholed, flooding in the last year has rendered them even more dangerous.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW, Paul Toole, said the state’s road network had been ‘battered’, with thousands of new potholes forming and some roads even being washed away by landslips.
$500 million facelift focused on pothole repair work
Work began on fixing dangerous roads early last year, with some councils most heavily affected gaining early access to fast-tracked funding to complete emergency repairs.
Minister for Metropolitan Roads, Natalie Ward, explained that road maintenance crews have been working on repairs since the report’s findings were announced, and have fixed an estimated 200 000 potholes so far.
According to Ward, operators are exploring new materials and technologies to speed up and enhance road repairs.
“We are trialling new ways to fix potholes faster with a rapid sealing ‘cold mix’ product and investing in technology that finds potholes before they find you through using vehicles to track and prioritise repairs,” said Ward.
Aside from potholes, state governments are set to tackle speeding, driver distraction, and driving under the influence as other major contributors to road injuries and deaths throughout Australia.
Regional councils in NSW can apply for funding to repair roads here.
Had a tussle with a pothole on your trip out of town? Drop in for a repair or service at one of our six Central Coast locations. We’ll make sure your car is safe and sound until the last pothole is fixed!