ALMOST 80 roads in Orange will undergo a facelift over the next six months thanks to a $5 million boost to Orange City Council’s roads budget.
Council revealed a list of 35 streets to be resealed and 42 set for rehabilitation as part of the expanded works program, taking the total roads spend for the next two years from $3.35 million to $8.35 million.
Residents concerned their street is not among the list [on page 3] should not despair, with even more roads expected to be added to the program over coming weeks.
Mayor John Davis said the $8 million budget had been unanimously OK’d by councillors.
“It came about because the conditions of the roads are unacceptable,” he said.
“We’ve made the right decisions in the last three or four years but in the next three to six months we’ll see major improvements.”
Cr Davis said council was able to take money from the asset renewal reserves to fund the program because of the positive result from the council’s financial auditor.
“It’s not a case of grabbing the money and spending it willy-nilly,” he said.
“It’s not a reaction from one month ago ‘let’s panic and spend the money’ ... two years ago we weren’t ready to spend the money.”
Infrastructure policy committee chairman Cr Reg Kidd said the move was fantastic but pushed for the expanded program to be extended for a further two years to take in the term of the new council.
“I find it interesting that with a change of council the money could be found,” he said.
“[Roads] are the number one issue in Orange at the moment.”
Cr Kidd said he understood staffing and contractor availability restricted the amount of roadworks the council could do.
“We should be looking at taking on extra staff, upskilling, and manning them with appropriate equipment,” he said.
But Cr Davis said weather conditions were the main thing that limited roadworks.
Cr Davis said sections of the Northern Distributor in a bad state would be fixed as part of the program, while patching of the new bypass over the next three months is covered under warranty from the contractors.
Roads included on the first round of the program were prioritised based on the council’s asset management plan and feedback from the community.
Rehabilitation involves digging up the pavement, resetting and reshaping and the addition of binding additives for strength.
Resealing involves new bitumen over existing bitumen to keep the surface intact to stop water getting into the pavement below and causing potholes or pavement failures.