COUNCILLOR'S FIVE-YEAR-PLAN FOR ISLAND DUST-FREE ROADS!
Cr Mark Edwards believes all island roads can be sealed within five years!
And that is because of the breakthrough for Council to undertake a road sealing method that is now delivering low cost two chip sealed “green” roads to the islands.
He told The Friendly Bay Islander: "These new “green” roads now set a course to radically alter the pace to remove gravel roads from the islands."
Sealing roads has slowly been taking place over the past 30 years using the council's existing slow and costly road sealing methods that require entire road construction to the highest engineering standards.
And, because of this process, there was never any light at the end of the tunnel that road sealing would be completed within the next 30 years.
Over the past two years, Cr Edwards has been lobbying Council, that there might be 'another way' to seal island roads.
It was based on utilising existing surfaces and applying a two coat bitumen chip seal. With much lower island traffic and speeds, many roads would be suited to this treatment for light weight vehicles.
It is not a replacement for all roads but an alternative way to suppress the dust and reduce sediment flows from the gravel roads into the bay.
Council finally agreed to his suggestions for a trial started just two months ago, and so successful has it been, that already nearly 10 island roads on Macleay have been sealed using the new method at a huge time saving and overall cost savings.
As a result, Cr Edwards believes that it is possible to set a challenge to have all eligible gravel roads “green” sealed within five years. "Roads that are just used as a firebreaks or just have an isolated house would not be part of the program.
"This is not Council policy but a direction I would like to lobby for within Council.
"Green roads will be rolled out next year and post the March 2016 election, I believe there is the opportunity to fully seal all island roads in that term. The islands will finally be dust free”.
In the meantime the Councillor will continue to look at other infrastructure delivery methods to the islands that will be cost effective and delivered more quickly.