Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) today announced the need to suspend grading on some unsealed roads in rural parts of the local government area due to ongoing dry conditions and a lack of access to water.
Bungendore and Braidwood are on Level 1 and Level 2 water restrictions respectively, with increased restrictions for Braidwood imminent as water sources dwindle and long range weather forecasts predict no substantial rain any time in the foreseeable future.
Council is able to source water for some road works from closer to Queanbeyan, but travel distances of more than 20-30km to work areas makes water carting for grading purposes unviable.
Grading a typical 1km section of road uses between 30,000 and 40,000 litres of water. In areas surrounding Braidwood such as Majors Creek, Krawaree, Araluen, Mongarlowe, Oallen and Nerriga, natural water sources used for maintenance grading activities including local rivers, creeks and dams, are drying up quickly.
The lack of available water means crews are unable to properly compact a road surface when undertaking grading. Therefore grading of some roads has been suspended.
Council staff will prioritise emergency grading where it is determined that a section of road is becoming dangerous. Urgent road hazards can be reported to Council through the Snap Send Solve app or by calling 1300 735 025.
Over the past two weeks, many of Council’s graders and water tankers have been redeployed to build containment lines and help fight fires surrounding Braidwood. This equipment will likely remain on the fireground until the fires subside.
A monthly grading schedule is published on the QPRC website. The December schedule has not yet been released as road crews review which roads it will be able to grade in the region and reschedule other roads as necessary.
We thank the community for their patience and ask drivers using unsealed roads to pay attention to any temporary speed advisory signage, slow down where necessary and drive to the conditions.