The shire's essential transport infrastructure which provides access and enables the efficient movement of people and goods within and through the Shire.
The Bega Valley Shire Council delivers and maintains the Shire's essential transport infrastructure. The excellent network of roads and related facilities provides access to public and private properties and enables the efficient movement of people and goods within and through the Shire. All at agreed, high-service levels and at the optimum life-cycle cost. The substantial network of assets, owned and managed by Bega Valley Shire Council, includes:
The 1,420 kilometre road network is valued at $191 million and is the Council's major physical asset. It costs $5.2 million a year to operate (excluding bridge costs) which represents 14 percent of annual revenue from rates.
There are two key transport service costs:
Council takes very seriously its responsibility to maintain and, where possible, improve essential infrastructure and services.
To this end, we developed the following strategic objectives with respect to operating and maintaining the Shire's transport network.
The Council’s adopted road hierarchy is broken down in order of each road type's relative importance and cost.
These are managed, maintained and funded by the RTA.
These are owned and managed by Council as determined by the RTA.
They are typically Main Roads and Regional Roads.
RTA provides maintenance (Block Grant) and renewal (REPAIR Grant) funding.
The regional roads usually have the following six characteristics;
These are managed, maintained and funded by Council and can be both urban (such as Auckland Street, Monaro Street and Wallaga Street) and rural (Dr George Mountain Road, Upper Brogo Road and Burragate Road).
They have the following seven functional characteristics;
These are also managed, maintained and funded by Council.
All remaining roads that do not meet the requirements for a Collector Road classification fall into this classification, and perform the following three functions;
There is an extensive network of NPWS and NSW Forestry roads throughout the Shires' National Park and Forestry estates.
It is to be noted that two Forestry Roads provide a vital east-west link within the Shire south of Eden.
These roads are;
There are also Crown Roads and Forestry Roads within the Shire. These are not owned, maintained or managed by Council.
The Council’s unsealed road network has been further divided into the following road hierarchies:
'C' class unsealed roads.
'B' class unsealed roads.
'A' class unsealed roads.
This hierarchy was introduced to provide a higher level of service on school bus and milk tanker routes, and on arterial roads.
The hierarchy also helps the Council to better match an achievable level of service to the available budget.
There are approximately 30 kilometres of unsealed urban streets to maintain.
The following summary is set out out in Asset Group, Asset Description and Asset Quantity:
There are several types of maintenance required.
Bitumen Maintenance is not simply about filling in potholes.
The operation includes pavement patching, heavy patching, reseals, drain cleaning and guide posting.
Council has two jetpatchers, one is a 6m3 patcher used for rural bitumen patching, and the 4m3 patcher is used for urban patching.
Both of the jetpatcher crews work on a routine schedule.
Urgent repairs are programmed into the routine schedule and these are identified by the Road Asset Inspector and the Bitumen Team Leader.
The jetpatcher also carries out at least one private job per week.
Heavy patching is carried out using a milling attachment on a bobcat.
A contract broom truck is hired for one day per week to sweep the pavement repaired by the heavy patching and jetpatcher.
Heavy patching and jetpatcher crews are also responsible for all repairs and are required to prepare the pavement for the reseal programs.
The boom mower that works on the gravel roads, removing vegetation during winter, also slashes the road shoulders on the bitumen roads during spring, summer and autumn.
There is also a second slasher which assists with shoulder-slashing and carries out urban area 'heavy' mowing and fire break maintenance.
The purpose of a bitumen seal is to provide a waterproof, dust-free wearing surface over the structural layers of the road, such as the pavement.
If Council's reseal budget is maintained at the desired level it will eventually allow the introduction of more specialised sealing techniques.
This may be more expensive in the short-term but will provide an improved result in the longer term
The RTA recommend that approximately three percent (3%) of the network be rehabilitated annually.
Council currently rehabilitates around 0.5% of the Local road network annually.
Roadside furniture is a general term for anything other than the road pavement and formation.
It includes line marking, signage, guard rails and chain wire fences, as well as guideposts.
The funding for this is provided mostly by the Traffic Facilities component of the Regional Road Block Grant.
Gravel maintenance is not just grading the unsealed roads.
The operation includes maintenance-grading, gravel resheeting, drain maintenance, scrub cutting and installing guide posts.
The gravel maintenance operation is carried out by three graders, each grading approximately one third of the Shire's road network.
Each grader is accompanied by a water truck and roller.
The grader teams generally carry out the gravel within their areas.
There is a backhoe tip-truck combination to clean drains.
The boom mower works on the gravel roads removing vegetation during the winter months.
The teams work 8.5 hours per day over a 9-day fortnight.
The total available budget is therefore a combination of individual budgets.
The purpose of resheeting on gravel roads is to replace pavement material that is lost due to traffic abrasion, climatic conditions (wind and rain) and cover-poor natural surfaces such as clay.
A desirable resheeting cycle is 8 years. Funds available for resheeting on gravel roads totals $595,000. Generally, only ‘C’ Class roads are gravel resheeted. This produces a resheeting cycle of 13 years.
Currently there is no resheeting done on 'B' class roads, which accounts for 50 percent of the Council's road network.
Council requires approximately 40,000m3 of gravel per annum for resheeting and new sealing works.
Whilst gravel costs are reasonable at the source, the real cost is in the haulage.
Council currently has access to a number of established pits which provide gravel for sealing and resheeting works.
Council also has a number of sites where road realignment works are being carried out and in the process gravel is being won.
The Office of Water requires Council to licence all the locations from which it draws water for road maintenance and construction purposes.
Council has identified all of its water points, 130 in total, and these have been provided to the relevant authorities .
There are two major sources:
Like the maintenance operation, the upgrading of rural roads and urban streets is funded by a number of sources. These are summarised under the following programs: