COUNCIL TRIALS NEW METHOD TO BUILD ISLAND ROADS
Roads currently being upgraded on Macleay Island are using the new road construction method long mooted by Division 5 Councillor, Mark Edwards.
The new lower-cost chip-sealed roads are being trialled by council as a long-term dust-suppression method for gravel roads.
Cr Edwards has long pushed for the method to be introduced, believing island roads do not need the same level of construction as high-traffic mainland roads owned and managed by Redland City Council.
Under council's existing road construction method, the cost per kilometre for construction is approximately $1million.
"I have long sought council to consider a new way by stabilising the existing surfaces and applying x2 coats of sealing, as opposed to council's official position of full road reconstruction, hot mix application and full kerbing and guttering.
"Because there is less traffic on our islands, I believe many more roads could be sealed for the same price," Cr Edwards said.
And it is certainly seems to be the case.
Scotts Road and Gordon Road have already been sealed using the new method and Lemontree Drive, Kalara Street and Squire Street are also earmarked for work to start in the coming days.
Whereas the sealing of Eastbourne Terrace and Hastings Terrace last year took several months, the sealing of Scotts Road and Gordon Road took less than two weeks and was carried out by island council maintenance crews as opposed to the huge importation of men and machines daily from the mainland.
Council has flagged several more roads to be sealed on Macleay Island before the end of the year, using the new method.
"They are a cost effective alternative to eliminate dust on light traffic volume roads rather than sealing them," Cr Edwards said.
The councillor admits costs have not been finalised and "some roads would be less expensive than others, however, could be in the range of 1/5th or less of the cost of a sealed road and offsets the ongoing maintenance costs."
Features and Facts about the new road construction method:
• The roads look like sealed roads but they are not the same.
• They have a dust suppression purpose.
• Their lifetime is shorter than a sealed road.
• They are designed for low volume, light weight traffic flows.
• Heavy truck use will impact these roads.
Cr Edwards continued: "Residents will need to understand the limitations of the road and avoid driving and parking on the road edge wherever possible, especially after rain periods where the road base on the sides becomes wet and soft."
And the councillor admits not all roads are suitable for this trial.
"The road must have an appropriate traffic flow, be on a solid base with limited drainage issues.
The road to be chip-sealed must represent an opportunity to off-set the cost to construct against the ongoing maintenance cost.
• Cr Mark Edwards in Scotts Road. Construction around $100,000 per kilometre