‘Sub-standard’ local roads

NEARLY 80 kilometres of roads in Wellington Shire have been identified as “sub-standard” in a council report.

Wellington Shire Council’s draft Residential Road and Street Construction Plan 2014 reveals $64 million in of improvements are needed to bring all roads and streets in Wellington Shire up to acceptable standards.

The report, to be released for public consultation during today’s council meeting, shows 79.8km of streets and roads which have a “service level gap”.

A road is determined to have a “service level gap” if it doesn’t meet the reasonable and modern levels of service expected by the community.

The town in most need of works is Paradise Beach, which has a “service level gap” of 9.97km, with 22 streets and roads requiring attention.

Works are needed on 2.18km of Fifth Avenue, 1.18km of The Boulevard and 1.16km of Seventh Avenue.

Coongulla (4.55km) and Port Albert (4.18km) each have 15 streets and roads listed in the council report, while there are 13 (4.92km) in Longford.

The three towns are among small and coastal communities, where an accepted level of service for roads and streets include sealed roads and streets to a width of about six metres, a formed and functional open drain network, kerb and channel at intersections and other key locations where required, and driveways with appropriately sized culverts and end walls.

Because of lower populations in these areas, it is not considered feasible to establish a level of service consistent with that of major townships.

Roads in the small communities identified as sub-standard total 55.7km.

The shire’s six major centres are not immune to the need for improvements, with 24.1km of roads deemed sub-standard.

Within these centres there are streets not previously designed or constructed to a standard adequate for high density development.

While many are partially sealed, alignments are not appropriate and do not allow for storm water retention, many have gravel or grass shoulders which provide low amenity and drainage is provided by ineffective and high maintenance open drains.

Sale has 10 roadways which need attention, totalling 3.75km, including an 800 metre stretch of Marley St between Cunningham and Raglan Sts, Fitzroy St between Market and Darling Sts and the Maffra-Sale Rd from the Princes Highway to the rail line.

There are 19 roads in Maffra under the microscope, totalling 7.62km, including 1.6km of Boisdale St from Johnson to George Sts, two stretches of Princes St, and Maffra-Sale Rd at the southern entry into town.

Yarram has 12 roads listed, totalling 4.06km, including three parts of Commercial Rd.

Five roads, totalling 2.83km, in Rosedale require attention, particularly around Huffers Rd to the south-east of town.

Stratford has 2.6km across seven roads listed, including 1km of Redbank Rd.

Davis St and Justice Parade are among the seven roads listed in Heyfield, totalling 2.31km.

The acceptable level of service determined for roads and streets within the major centres includes fully designed and constructed sealed urban streets, kerb and channel, appropriate provision and utilisation of underground drainage, accessible footpaths and street crossings, street lighting and the provision of urban street trees.

With the reduced demand for bridge renewal, council is looking at using Roads to Recovery funding from the federal government to improve roads and streets in residential areas.

Council will use its Residential Road and Street Construction Plan to identify roads which need attention.

Survey results from the past two years have shown the community rates local streets and footpaths and gravel roads among the top four important council services, but were in the bottom three performing council services.

Thirty-five per cent of customer requests to council related to roads in residential areas, despite residential roads making up only 12.5 per cent of road network.