An unsealed road maintenance program has been developed by Yass Valley Council after heavy rainfall during the month of February revealed several issues across the 640km unsealed road network.
Several roads were closed after receiving heavy rains after some crossings were unable to cope with the volume of water runoff in the creeks as a result of the hard dry soils resulting from the drought conditions, or clearing works had not yet occurred.
The rainfall also washed away some localised sections of unsealed road pavements and in some instances, where roadside drainage as less than adequate, created potholes in some sections of the road.
The council is now planning to address the concern through the program after inspection of the road network and feedback from the community.
Maintenance work on Yass Valley Council's unsealed road will resume as weather patterns return to more 'normal' conditions.
The recent council meeting agreed that general maintenance of the unsealed road network will be gradually reinstated in a sustainable manner based on expected longer-term weather condition forecasts and the resources available to Council to manage its entire 1,240km sealed and unsealed road network.
"Unsealed roads require a number of conditions to be maintained effectively," a report presented during Yass Valley council meeting states.
"Initial placement of material requires the application of water, usually through the use of water trucks, to compact and shape the material.
"However, just as important in the following days and weeks, is the moisture content of the air and continued compaction from slow-moving vehicles.
"High-speed traffic, coupled with dry conditions, break down the road surface creating dust and removal of the consolidated surface from the road leading to corrugations and potholes.
"Additionally not enough traffic allows the compacted surface material to 'break apart', creating the same concerns as experienced under hot dry conditions."
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