‘Zipper’ fast tracks Clarence road repairs

Clarence Valley Council has sourced a state-of-the-art machine to undertake some cost-effective and productive road repairs.

This month the Civil and Works team hired an Asphalt Zipper to assist with the response to the backlog of deteriorating roads in the wake of the February/March floods.

Video by Bill North/James Fuller, Clarence Valley Council.

“The Zipper cuts, crushes and mixes the asphalt into reusable material in one pass,” Director Civil and Works Jamie Fleeting said.

“It achieves comparable results, in a few days, to a full rehabilitation, which would normally take weeks.

“In addition to time savings, there is also a reduction in material waste and fuel resulting in significant cost savings.”

Crews have taken advantage of the dry weather and recently utilised the Asphalt Zipper in Yamba, with the recycled material to be used on Council’s unsealed road network.

The versatile Asphalt Zipper attaches to Council's own loaders.

Elsewhere, this versatile, portable piece of machinery has been used to recycle materials into the road base on site.

“We have used it on Armidale Road to reinstate a whole series of pavement failures back into safe condition,” Mr Fleeting said.

“The Zipper converts the damaged road surface into uniformly blended, stable, reusable material resulting in a more durable, longer lasting and smoother road for a small fraction of the cost of rehabilitation.”

Asphalt Zipper Road Reclaimer

At any given time, road maintenance is one of Council’s biggest responsibilities. But the floods and persistent wet weather in 2022 resulted in a significant increase in the number of road defects. Restoring the road network to pre-flood conditions is a big job that will take at least 12 months achieve.

“It is important to recognise that Council will always have roads to maintain, however there have been five natural disasters since the 2019 bushfires,” Mr Fleeting said.

Clarence Valley Council publishes a Schedule of Works in its weekly Noticeboard to help inform the community of the various road maintenance activities happening in the Clarence.

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In the meantime, please be patient on the roads, and give our friendly, hardworking operational staff a thumbs up and a smile the next time you pass by.

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