Wet weather poses challenges to maintenance program

Armidale Regional Council

The region’s dams are at capacity and creeks are overflowing thanks to La Nina drenching most of NSW and bringing above average rainfall.

Countryside across the Armidale region is green and lush, feed is plentiful and creeks are flowing but with this beauty comes an extraordinary amount of growth to our living landscape and pressures on our built infrastructure.

Council staff have been busy trying to keep up with regular maintenance schedules and deliver on capital works projects but with La Nina fuelled rains impacting roads, drainage and our open spaces the community may experience some delays to our normal service delivery as we endeavour to keep up.

Chief Officer Assets and Services Alex Manners says staff are working extremely hard to keep up with the high levels of additional maintenance work required at the moment.

“Wet weather speeds up the deterioration to council’s road network and potholes grow overnight,” said Alex Manners.

“Staff are out and about attending to potholes and ask that motorists continue to drive to the conditions. Wet weather also brings to light drainage issues that aren’t evident during dry weather and our mowing schedule is impacted heavily.”

While essential tree work continues unabated, mowing has been restricted to higher well drained parks and open spaces. We are able to continue whipper snipping to ensure long grass around playgrounds and picnic shelters/BBQs is controlled. Sports fields have been periodically closed with cancellations of cricket and touch football due to the conditions. Fields are assessed regularly and updates provide through council’s communications channels.

The weather is impacting the delivery of projects including delays to the Martin’s Gully Bridge replacement, Dumaresq Dam wall stabilisation and the airport runway lighting expansion. Martin’s Gully Bridge and Dumaresq Dam wall have particularly been effected as contractors battle the rising water levels. The Kempsey Road Six Curves culvert replacement is forecast to commence in the coming weeks but current conditions are likely to delay the start of the project. Whilst ongoing planning is being undertaken for Kempsey Road main works, conditions are continuously being monitored and inspected for dangerous conditions, slips, rock falls and scouring.

Roads across the region have been heavily impacted, particularly on the unsealed road network. Council crews have been addressing roads washed away around causeways and grids and the unsealed roads grading schedule and re-sheeting program has been impacted. Heavy patching is occurring across the network due to damage from the heavy rainfall.

Council is asking residents to report any dangerous pot holes, washed away roads or damage to infrastructure that needs to be addressed. The community can log a service request through the self-service section on the council website or contact our customer service team on 1300 136 833.

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