The Grading Crew commenced the Gravel Renewal Program on the identified roads with defects and low gravel coverage. Works include clearing gravel from drains and adjoining fields, road-reshaping and adding a new gravel layer.
Douglas Shire Council engaged Shepherd Consulting Services to capture unsealed road defects using their Road Asset Condition Assessment System (RACAS). This information was processed to compare defects, gravel coverage and roughness (IRI), against the previous RACAS captured data, to identify movements and trends.
The most recent report in June 2021 identified that whilst the overall gravel coverage remained relatively unchanged, there were clear improvements in road roughness at a network level. This equates to a significant increase in comfortable travel speed for road users. A good portion of roads have been graded and this is reflective in the roughness reduction depicted below:
Gravel Roads Roughness Reduction & Gravel Coverage
|Network Average||June 2019||December 2019||February 2021||June 2021|
|% Gravel Coverage||88%||91%||91.6%||94%|
A breakdown of the network by average road IRI, shows the trend of improving road conditions with an IRI greater than 8 (due for immediate treatment) decreasing. Roads with an IRI less than 4 has increased from 0.1% of the network to 37%. These metrics indicate that the network has improved signifying the road user will generally encounter noticeably smoother roads. The trend also indicates that the current Capital Works program (Gravel Renewal Program) is managing the quantity of defects and dispersing these defects more evenly across the network whilst also improving road roughness.
Overall, the conditions of gravel roads within the Shire have improved each year since 2018/2019.
Cost of Project
W4Q Funding: $182,000
Total Project Cost: $450,000