Potholes keep gangs busy

TWEED roads have become a living hell for motorists forced to dodge potholes that have opened up and became bigger during the continued wet.

The problem has forced Tweed Shire Council managers to dispatch “road gangs” and busily switch resources from what they call normal “remedial patching” to “emergency patching”.

The council's works manager Ian Kite yesterday said the prolonged spell of wet weather was affecting our roads, as more potholes than usual had opened up.

“However, there are usually a few similar periods during any year and this is built into the road maintenance budget, so there will not be a significant impact,” he said.

Mr Kite said that council might need to reallocate resources from remedial patching to emergency patching, but that would be “about the extent of the impact at this point”.

One of the roads most affected is Tumbulgum Road, located just out of Murwillumbah.

The affected section of road was already on the program for “pavement rehabilitation” this year, but as a result of its current condition Mr Kite said the council would fast-track it.

He said during and immediately after any wet spell the council carried out emergency patching to maintain safety, accepting that some of these repairs would be temporary only.

“After the wet period has passed and we have caught up with the immediate problems we can then plan permanent repairs where the unsound material is removed and replaced,” Mr Kite said.

“What is highlighted by the wet weather/pothole situation is the importance of the annual road resurfacing program.

“Resurfacing is an economic means of waterproofing the road that drastically reduces the amount of moisture penetrating the road surface.”

Mr Kite said the council attempted to treat every sealed road on a 10-year cycle and experience had shown that maintenance costs were reduced when resealing was routinely done.

He said the wet weather had also damaged the shire's gravel roads, with grader crews to be busy for the next month.

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