Coe on roads

johnboy 17 February 2009 25

Alistair Coe is taking a swing at Canberra’s crappy road re-surfacing program which last year was apparently 60% under target (whatever that means).

    ““If the Stanhope-Gallagher Government is unable to deliver on core services such as the Territory’s roads, what hope does the Government have in dealing with the global financial crisis?” Mr Coe asked.

    “Failure to keep pace with basic road maintenance schedules means that our roads will deteriorate quicker, become unsafe sooner and are more costly to repair.”

    “A simple pot-hole that is not repaired quickly can bring about the need for major road works if it is not attended to quickly.”

    The Government has cited world oil prices as one of the factors driving up the price of bitumen. However, world oil prices were at near record highs at the time of the last budget and such expenditure should have been predicted.”

Might want to take a look at the surface they’re laying down as well Alistair.


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Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 7:55 pm 18 Feb 09

Bitumen got expensive last year because petroleum was expensive last year. Bitumen costs are mostly driven by the cost of crude oil. Bitumen will be cheaper this year because petroleum is cheaper this year.

But unfortunately those people in the streets done over with the chipseal THIS year will be stuck with all the negative consequences of it for several years – and they are all negatives, despite JC’s constant singing of the praises of chipseal. Even his arguments in favour of cost savings based on the cost of ripping up the old hotmix are bunkum.

The reality is that hotmix is usually laid over the top of existing hotmix, and tapered down to the sides and gutters. They only ever dig it up and start over after a few layers go down and it is no longer practical.

There’s one very simple reality in this whole issue: if the ALP Government can’t adequately maintain roads through a bloody drought, what hope have they got if it starts to rain again???

Tylers, I believe Alistair is raising the issue of the road resealing because constituents raised it with him – GCC at our December meeting for starters. I also raised it 2-3 weeks ago with Andrew Barr but have not had anything back from him on it. And I raised it last Wednesday with Shane Rattenbury.

And I will continue to raise it at every opportunity because what this government is delivering in the way of road maintenance is total crap. What today’s story reveals is that there is a lot more to the issue and good on Alistair for getting stuck into it.

As I’ve said before, the MLAs in this town can’t win can they? They pursue “real” issues and someone on RA tells them to get back to their council chambers, they dig into a RRR issue and they get the exact opposite. Sheesh.

tylersmayhem tylersmayhem 10:14 am 18 Feb 09

Seems like Coe has moved on to the “real” issues now and turned his back on ways to open up Flynn Primary among other schools.

Well done Alistair – I’m embarrassed that I voted for such a sell-out!

Gobbo Gobbo 8:27 am 18 Feb 09

goose said :

Canberra used to have the best roads in the country until Stanhopeless and his bunch of tools came along.

I would have said that Canberra had the best roads in the country until we were made to have self-government.

goose goose 7:24 am 18 Feb 09

Canberra used to have the best roads in the country until Stanhopeless and his bunch of tools came along.

Canberra was the best Capital City in the world until Stanhopeless came along.

Well, Canberra voted for this donkey so we are stuck with him & his roads & his eyesore roadside art crap (for now)

Cletus 2 Cletus 2 1:15 am 18 Feb 09

The roads in ACT have, broadly, 2 main problems. The first is the construction quality and maintainence regime. I must admit that I don’t notice a big problem there, especially when comparing with other big cities, but maybe I don’t drive enough or in the right places. The second is that the civil engineers designing the roads (or quite likely, the people making mandates from above) seem to be a bunch of morons.

to name a few…
– a highway doesn’t become “safe” for cyclists because you paint a 1/2 metre green line on it.
– intersections are not a license to show off your creativity and artistic talents.
– you can’t increase flow of yielding stream of traffic into a difficult intersection by having the larger traffic flows form one lane right before the problematic intersection.

peter@home peter@home 12:16 am 18 Feb 09

if people wanted a change in govt, they would have ensured there couldn’t have been a labor govt. they didn’t, and now we have chipseal, roads that I cannot see why they are being resurfaced, like hindmarsh between the parkway and melrose drive, when there are massive potholes on suburban streets.

and as long as they are the power here, the different projects that the public do want done will have to wait, as they work through the projects from last year that weren’t completed. same govt, good chance to catch up on the backlog of jobs.

johnboy johnboy 11:47 pm 17 Feb 09

bd84 said :

johnboy said :

As far as i can tell an overpaid idiot who thinks he’s a strategist in the party has got them all trotting out this line at every opportunity.

It’s particularly stupid because one way or another we’ve got three more years of the Stanhope Government and chances are the world won’t really end before then.

So you think that not resurfacing roads is not an issue and he should shut up? He makes valid points and has his argument backed by vaild figures, there is nothing idiotic about his statement.

The fact that because Stanhope is on TAMS’ case about managing their operations to budget, that parts of the Department have had to cut back on essential services. One would think that if the price of an essential service like this would be covered by the Government rather than restricted by budget. But hey, they could just build 60% of a hospital or buy 60% of a police car, better still they could build 60% of a road! Oh wait, they’ve already done that, named it the GDE extension. Though, with the cost cutting they’ve used on that surface, 60% complete might be pushing it a bit.

No. Wrong.

I think the constant carping “how can we trust them to do X when they’ve rooted Y” is insane when we have no alternative for three years.

They won’t get everything wrong, and even if they do it’s better to treat each crisis on its merits.

JC JC 10:39 pm 17 Feb 09

Madman said :

JC said :

But if you are talking about road maintenance which is where chipseal is actually used (GDE is not actually chipseal) then you will find the cost saving to be significantly more than ripping up the surface and relaying the hotmix. My guess is a reseal, ie spray some tar and put the chip down is about 10% the cost of ripping up the surface of the road and then putting down a new sheet of asphalt.

Okay it’s quite established that all of us don’t know the actual cost or ratio – but the main road to my house was done less then 6 months ago and I can already see where the chipseal has washed away and the really nice bitumen underneath. ie it needs resealing once again. Now that road has been there since this suburb was created along time ago and i doubt it ever needed a re-work after 6 months….

They’re not going to rip up the whole road to fix one part of it – they just stick hotmix back into the effected area unless there is substantial damage or the damage has been prolonged and not maintained.

If you can see the surface below it is more than likley the bitumen they sprayed on top of the road, ie the actual seal coat.

As I have said in about two threads on this subject already resealing is a process that should be done before there is any obvious sign of damage, ie it is preventative maintenance. The problem is the road become porus, water gets in and pot holes form. So the seal process is there to spray tar/bitumen to form a waterproof barrier and then put down a layer of rocks to act as the surface because the seal alone would be too slippery.

The bottom line is the underlying road structure is fine. So why go to the cost of ripping it up when all it needs is to be resealed? Heavy use roads like main roads in Sydney are different kettles of fish because the underlying surface is buggered by all the traffic so they need to rip those roads up.

I guess it would be same if you had a concrete rendered house. If the render starts to fall away what do you do? Patch and repaint or rip the whole lot off and start again? Roads are the same.

bigred bigred 9:02 pm 17 Feb 09

Shame he only focussed on part of the shabby road works program. How about all the intersections they are working on around belco? Bloke really has to have his wits about him to avoid getting hit when doing even simple manouvres.

Fiona Fiona 8:40 pm 17 Feb 09

I got some new lines on the streets today. Little drizzles of tar along the cracks. Exciting stuff.

bd84 bd84 8:25 pm 17 Feb 09

johnboy said :

As far as i can tell an overpaid idiot who thinks he’s a strategist in the party has got them all trotting out this line at every opportunity.

It’s particularly stupid because one way or another we’ve got three more years of the Stanhope Government and chances are the world won’t really end before then.

So you think that not resurfacing roads is not an issue and he should shut up? He makes valid points and has his argument backed by vaild figures, there is nothing idiotic about his statement.

The fact that because Stanhope is on TAMS’ case about managing their operations to budget, that parts of the Department have had to cut back on essential services. One would think that if the price of an essential service like this would be covered by the Government rather than restricted by budget. But hey, they could just build 60% of a hospital or buy 60% of a police car, better still they could build 60% of a road! Oh wait, they’ve already done that, named it the GDE extension. Though, with the cost cutting they’ve used on that surface, 60% complete might be pushing it a bit.

Madman Madman 7:37 pm 17 Feb 09

JC said :

But if you are talking about road maintenance which is where chipseal is actually used (GDE is not actually chipseal) then you will find the cost saving to be significantly more than ripping up the surface and relaying the hotmix. My guess is a reseal, ie spray some tar and put the chip down is about 10% the cost of ripping up the surface of the road and then putting down a new sheet of asphalt.

Okay it’s quite established that all of us don’t know the actual cost or ratio – but the main road to my house was done less then 6 months ago and I can already see where the chipseal has washed away and the really nice bitumen underneath. ie it needs resealing once again. Now that road has been there since this suburb was created along time ago and i doubt it ever needed a re-work after 6 months….

They’re not going to rip up the whole road to fix one part of it – they just stick hotmix back into the effected area unless there is substantial damage or the damage has been prolonged and not maintained.

JC JC 6:46 pm 17 Feb 09

Madman said :

chip seal is absolutely shocking stuff – you’d think that the gumberment would be able to save money in the long term by using bitumen as it doesn’t need to be resealed as much.

You think about it – I don’t know what the real savings are on this but lets use the above figure.
If chipseal is at a cost to 60% of bitumen then they’re saving 40%. 3 years later the chipseal needs to be replaced as well as repairs between – thats another 60% plus inflation – the bitumen 3 years later has just needed some minor work… Thus the chip seal costing 120% of the life of its counterpart.
You don’t see pot holes and regular maintenance on our quality highways as much as you do in our streets.

Also i bet that statistics would show that after introduction of chipseal becoming the major road surface that vehicle tyre sales have risen… And has the government lowered taxes and levied sales to consumers for the added rubber we need to buy?

Also as a motorcycle rider – I would have to say it would seem a lot safer to slide on bitumen then it would be torn up by chipseal?!

If you are talking from a construction perspective then yes it is better in the long run to go with a hotmix road.

But if you are talking about road maintenance which is where chipseal is actually used (GDE is not actually chipseal) then you will find the cost saving to be significantly more than ripping up the surface and relaying the hotmix. My guess is a reseal, ie spray some tar and put the chip down is about 10% the cost of ripping up the surface of the road and then putting down a new sheet of asphalt.

MrPC MrPC 6:42 pm 17 Feb 09

Bitumen got expensive last year because petroleum was expensive last year. Bitumen costs are mostly driven by the cost of crude oil.

Bitumen will be cheaper this year because petroleum is cheaper this year.

Perhaps the government needs to stockpile bitumen when the crude oil price is cheap and draw down on the stockpile when crude oil prices are expensive. Just a thought.

VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy VYBerlinaV8_the_one_they_all_copy 6:38 pm 17 Feb 09

You can do waaaaay better fooly sik burnouts on bitumen.

monomania monomania 6:21 pm 17 Feb 09

The wiki article is interesting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asphalt_concrete Despite working for 9 months as a laborer for the old Roads and Bridges branch of the ACT Dept of Interior many years ago I had no idea about composition or relative costs and durability of the various surfaces. Experience would indicate that it is futile to expect an ACT government of any persuasion to make decisions based on cost effectiveness or even bother to determine what that might be.

peterh peterh 5:48 pm 17 Feb 09

Madman said :

chip seal is absolutely shocking stuff – you’d think that the gumberment would be able to save money in the long term by using bitumen as it doesn’t need to be resealed as much.

You think about it – I don’t know what the real savings are on this but lets use the above figure.
If chipseal is at a cost to 60% of bitumen then they’re saving 40%. 3 years later the chipseal needs to be replaced as well as repairs between – thats another 60% plus inflation – the bitumen 3 years later has just needed some minor work… Thus the chip seal costing 120% of the life of its counterpart.
You don’t see pot holes and regular maintenance on our quality highways as much as you do in our streets.

Also i bet that statistics would show that after introduction of chipseal becoming the major road surface that vehicle tyre sales have risen… And has the government lowered taxes and levied sales to consumers for the added rubber we need to buy?

Also as a motorcycle rider – I would have to say it would seem a lot safer to slide on bitumen then it would be torn up by chipseal?!

and your leathers won’t save you. nasty stuff.

Madman Madman 5:28 pm 17 Feb 09

chip seal is absolutely shocking stuff – you’d think that the gumberment would be able to save money in the long term by using bitumen as it doesn’t need to be resealed as much.

You think about it – I don’t know what the real savings are on this but lets use the above figure.
If chipseal is at a cost to 60% of bitumen then they’re saving 40%. 3 years later the chipseal needs to be replaced as well as repairs between – thats another 60% plus inflation – the bitumen 3 years later has just needed some minor work… Thus the chip seal costing 120% of the life of its counterpart.
You don’t see pot holes and regular maintenance on our quality highways as much as you do in our streets.

Also i bet that statistics would show that after introduction of chipseal becoming the major road surface that vehicle tyre sales have risen… And has the government lowered taxes and levied sales to consumers for the added rubber we need to buy?

Also as a motorcycle rider – I would have to say it would seem a lot safer to slide on bitumen then it would be torn up by chipseal?!

peterh peterh 5:22 pm 17 Feb 09

Inappropriate said :

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

unable to deliver on core services such as the Territory’s roads, what hope does the Government have in dealing with the global financial crisis?

Non-sequitur in aisle 5. Come on, you can do better than this, surely?

Remember, he’s just a kid…

but one who is in the ACT legislative assembly…

Inappropriate Inappropriate 5:18 pm 17 Feb 09

Woody Mann-Caruso said :

unable to deliver on core services such as the Territory’s roads, what hope does the Government have in dealing with the global financial crisis?

Non-sequitur in aisle 5. Come on, you can do better than this, surely?

Remember, he’s just a kid…

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