14 December 2022

Canberrans urged to expose the Territory's worst - and best - roads following pothole-littered year

| Claire Fenwicke
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Just one of the potholes that have confronted Canberra drivers this year. Photo: James Coleman.

More than one in 10 call-outs to the NRMA in the past six months have been for potholes, with a 55 per cent increase in wheel and tyre-related damage for Canberra and its surrounds compared to 2021.

That’s added up to 2647 breakdowns in the ACT, with Canberrans now encouraged to vote for the worst and best roads both in the Territory and surrounds through the ‘Rate Your Road’ survey.

It follows the NRMA releasing its Fix Our Broken Roads report, highlighting a $1.5 billion roads funding backlog for the state for the 2020-21 financial year.

The ACT Government recently announced it was increasing funding for road maintenance by 52 per cent to $153 million over the next four years.

However the Rate Your Road survey will help the NRMA find out exactly where funding needs to be targeted.

“Having your say in our Rate Your Road survey can make a huge difference – the 2019 survey received a record number of votes and that data helped the NRMA secure record road funding from the NSW and Australian Governments to support local councils,” spokesperson Peter Khoury said.

The ACT Government revealed it had already paid out over $43,000 to 50 motorists whose vehicles had been damaged by potholes in 2022 during estimates earlier this year. The average claim was $860.

A Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) spokesperson said it was “no secret” the region had been battered by heavy and frequent rain events.

“In October, we experienced Canberra’s wettest month since records began, with more than 2800 pothole repairs undertaken in that month alone,” they said.

“It’s worth noting that TCCS’ annual satisfaction survey has shown satisfaction with our road network to be consistent for the past three years with 81 per cent satisfaction in 2020, 80 per cent satisfaction in 2021 and 80 per cent satisfaction in 2022.”

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The NRMA has warned the areas surrounding the Territory also require urgent funding, as the cost of the past year’s heavy flooding still hadn’t been tallied.

“The NRMA has an almighty job on its hands over the next year fighting to get the funding councils need to fix our flood-ravaged, pothole-littered road network,” Mr Khoury said.

The Fix Our Broken Roads report outlined that while NSW and federal funding had increased in recent times, a “significant shortfall” still existed to bring the state’s road network up to scratch to support passenger and freight safety, as well as productivity.

The top five road infrastructure backlog areas in regional NSW for 2020-21 are the Northern Rivers, Riverina, Hunter, Mid North Coast and Central West, with a combined total of $990.9 million – that’s 64.6 per cent of the total regional backlog, and 52 per cent of the total NSW backlog.

The highest yearly percentage increases in funding backlog in 2020-21 occurred in the Capital Country (36.1 per cent) and Murray (42 per cent) regions.

Looking at areas across southern NSW, the infrastructure backlog amounts for 2020-21 are estimated by the NRMA report as:

  • Murray = $60.3 million
  • Riverina = $225.2 million
  • South Coast = $112.3 million
  • Capital Country = $47.4 million
  • Snowy Mountains = $5.3 million

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Meanwhile the Territory’s annual road resurfacing program has been underway since October, and is expected to end in April, 2023.

This year’s program has seen more arterial roads resurfaced in recent weeks, including sections of Parkes Way, the Glenloch Interchange and Caswell Drive.

“Other arterial roads in the current program include Belconnen Way, Hindmarsh Drive, Gungahlin Drive, Drakeford Drive and the Tuggeranong Parkway,” the TCCS spokesperson said.

In the short term, additional funding has been provided to renew a range of roads in the next six months, including William Hovell Drive, Isabella Drive and Melrose Drive for heavy patching, as well as Antill Street and Namatjira Drive for drainage works.

While pavement rehabilitation, which can also include sub-surface drainage works, is currently underway on Jabanungga Avenue and Tarra Place in Ngunnawal, and was recently completed on Well Station Drive in Harrison.

“Design work will shortly commence for pavement rehabilitation of David Walsh Avenue in Forde and Isabella Drive in Macarthur,” the TCCS spokesperson said.

The Rate Your Road survey will be open until mid-February 2023, with the results to be released prior to the March 2023 NSW election.

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ChrisinTurner10:06 pm 14 Dec 22

You say resurfacing of Parkes Way when in fact it is only resealing (spaying tar and sprinkling roadmetal on top). I have seen this treatment fail in less than 6 months. Potholes that have been recently fixed near my home have failed again in a few weeks. So much for work by the lowest tenderer.

The best roads are between the airport and Parliament House.

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