THE SHIRE'S roads have received a battering from recent weather events and council's bitumen patching team have been hard at work repairing potholes on our roads.
Kempsey Shire Council has two crews of amazingly dedicated staff working non-stop to tackle the mammoth task of repairing our road network that stretches around 1200 kilometres of our shire.
Bitumen patching team leader Frank Walsh says its hard knowing that so many roads around the shire are in need of repair and that prioritising one road over another always causes frustration.
"Our engineers consider many details before we carry out repairs and these include the condition of the road, the level of traffic using the road, cost and of course the safety risk for the public," Frank said.
"One day we could be working in West Kempsey, then the next day we are in South West Rocks and each day, we shovel around six tonnes of bitumen just to patch potholes."
Like everyone, Frank wishes it was possible to just rebuild every damaged road.
"People ask why we don't just reconstruct these damaged roads but at an average cost of around $1 million per kilometre, it really isn't a viable solution if the issue is on the road's surface. It also takes a long time. So instead, we step in and try to fix them quickly and effectively."
During the March floods, Peter MacFarlane from council's bitumen patching team said the crew were responding to urgent road repairs around the clock to ensure roads users could safely travel to where they needed to be.
"There were several areas across the Macleay that needed urgent works during the floods with crews working back-to-back shifts just to keep up and we are still playing catch up because the floods have affected the roads in such a devastating way," Peter said.
Council thanks residents for their patience while works are carried out across the shire. Frank, Peter and the bitumen patching team are also grateful for any resident who identifies potholes or public hazards via the Snap Send Solve mobile app.
"We rely on the community to be our eyes," Frank said.
"There's always a never-ending list of roads to fix, but we promise we are working to get through it."
For information on the areas where council's bitumen patching team will be working, visit ksc.pub/works.
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