Lo­cals’ pa­tience tried by the state of roads

Mansfield Courier - - FRONT PAGE - By WENDY HUNT

THE Mans­field Courier, like the Mans­field Shire coun­cil, has re­ceived nu­mer­ous com­plaints about the results of road works car­ried out ear­lier this year in Ogilvies Road and Mal­colm Street.

It was promised that the Ogilvies Road project would upgrade the road to such an ex­tent that trucks would be able to safely use it.

“When com­pleted the long stretch of road will re-open to all traffic, in­clud­ing trucks, which have been banned for the past two years due to pave­ment de­te­ri­o­ra­tion,” Mr Valente, from the shire en­gi­neer­ing depart­ment, said in a Courier ar­ti­cle on the project in the March 22 edi­tion.

How­ever, within weeks of that seal be­ing com­pleted, the Courier was sent photos of pot holes formed in the newly laid road.

“What we’re see­ing on Ogilvies Road is ‘seal de­lam­i­na­tion’,” man­ager of en­gi­neer­ing works for Mans­field Shire Coun­cil Neil Ogilvie said in the May 10 edi­tion of the Courier.

“This is where the bi­tu­men layer is ‘un­stick­ing’ from the gravel pave­ment layer.”

Since that time, there have been on­go­ing ef­forts to re­pair the road, which con­tin­ues to ‘un­stick’ and form pot­holes.

The other con­tentious project from the first half of the year was the re­seal­ing of Mal­colm Street.

It was re­ported in the Courier of April 26 that the project, which had al­ready been go­ing for some weeks, had been fur­ther de­layed.

Due to be sealed be­fore Easter, at first con­trac­tors could not source the road ma­te­ri­als re­quired and then rain fur­ther de­layed the project.

Long suf­fer­ing res­i­dents, who had put up with dust and mud for many weeks, were there­fore hor­ri­fied when the sur­face be­gan to buckle and pot­hole within weeks.

“I’m still find­ing pock­ets of mud in my car from the road­works,” said Mal­colm Street res­i­dent Ross Martin.

“If any­thing, the sur­face is worse than be­fore it was done.

“I think they did a very shoddy job,” he added.

The Courier con­tacted Mr Ogilvie to see what progress has been made.

“The Mal­colm Street re­seal­ing was phase one of the project,” Mr Ogilvie said.

“How­ever, the pave­ment was not com­pleted via sub­con­tract to the spec­i­fied stan­dard and will be re­me­di­ated by the con­trac­tor, with no fur­ther cost to the shire.

“Phase two will be work on the park­ing lanes and gut­ter­ing.

“Both phase one and two will be com­pleted this fi­nan­cial year,” he added.

Also, Mr Ogilvie ex­plained that Ogilvies Road was not con­structed with com­ply­ing pave­ment ma­te­ri­als.

“The con­trac­tor ac­cepts this and re­me­di­a­tion work should be com­pleted by De­cem­ber at the latest at no ex­tra charge,” he said.

“The con­trac­tor in ques­tion has shown great strength of char­ac­ter in ac­cept­ing re- spon­si­bil­ity and work­ing with coun­cil to re­solve these is­sues.

“I can­not fault their will­ing­ness to ac­cept mis­takes were made and work along­side us to rec­tify them, at their own cost,” Mr Ogilvie added.

There is a de­gree of frus­tra­tion in the en­gi­neer­ing depart­ment, due to the ex­pec­ta­tions upon a very small team who are un­able to match the out­puts of larger lo­cal gov­ern­ments.

“We do not have a sig­nif­i­cant Qual­ity As­sur­ance ca­pac­ity, so that mis­takes like these could be rec­ti­fied prior to project com­ple­tion,” Mr Ogilvie said.

“Our small tech­ni­cal team of 3.6 plus 18 de­pot road staff are look­ing after al­most $200 mil­lion worth of in­fras­truc­ture and we are one of the small­est en­gi­neer­ing and works de­part­ments in the state.”

It would seem that res­i­dents and road users need to be pa­tient – in the not too dis­tant fu­ture, both of these roads will be brought up to stan­dard.

PHOTO: Wendy Hunt

HILLS AND HOL­LOWS: This photo shows some of the dam­age done to the ‘new’ sur­face in Mal­colm Street.

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