POTHOLE REPAIR: Flowcon truck will tackle Byron Shire's potholes over the coming weeks.
POTHOLE REPAIR: Flowcon truck will tackle Byron Shire's potholes over the coming weeks. Contributed

Byron council crews hit the roads to patch potholes

POTHOLES, there is nothing like them for causing passionate resident resentment, letters to the editor and unwanted trips to the mechanic.

And as a result of rains lashing our vast stretches of rural road over the first half of the year, we have plenty of them here in Byron Shire.

But with recent sunshine providing perfect weather for filling pot holes Byron Shire Council will have two repair crews out covering the entire shire over the next five weeks.

Council's works manager Tony Nash said the ground and roads have dried out and work crews are focused on a six week intensive patching program for the town areas whilst still undertaking works on the rural roads. The town program started on Thursday last week.

"To make the most of the good weather, we've hired an extra truck and crew and now have two full time crews systematically working through the Shire's urban streets and hinterland roads," he said.

The patching program is expected to cost about $100,000 and is in addition to the current reseal program.

This week the crews have commenced working in Byron Bay, Suffolk Park, Ocean Shores, Mullumbimby and the hinterland roads of Coopers Shoot, Great Granny Waterhouse Road and Kennedy's Lane.

The pothole filling methods include hot mix and bitumen emulsion and aggregate. The Flowcon truck uses hot mix and is considered more labour intensive than the hired Jetmaster truck which uses bitumen emulsion and aggregate.

Mr Nash explained that the hot mix method requires workers to remove all loose gravel from the pothole, tack coat the hole, fill with the hot mix and then compact the material.

"The Jetmaster technology uses compressed air to clear the pothole, tack coat the hole and then fills the hole with the bitumen and aggregate material.  The compaction of the bitumen and aggregate material is done by the compressed air as the pothole is filled." he said.

The Jetmaster truck has been hired for the next four months to assist with the maintenance works to fill the potholes.

An additional smaller truck was also used to fill the potholes in the Wilsons Creek area past the landslip at the public school that has a 10 tonne load limit.

Mr Nash also cautioned residents against personally filling potholes. 

"Whilst we can appreciate that it is frustrating to have to wait until the work crews reaches your street, filling a pot hole can place yourself at risk and also create more work for the crews.

"Throwing gravel or cement into a pot hole means that you are on the road and potentially dodging cars.  It's simply not worth the risk. Our staff and contractors operate under strict safety conditions with traffic management controls. 

"Plus we are finding that while it's well intentioned to put material in a pothole, often our crews have to spend considerable time removing it so it can be filled properly.

"Pothole patching is best left to Council and if you have concerns about a section of road, phone and report the location," Mr Nash urged.

Mayor Simon Richardson also agreed and encouraged residents to report any roads that are badly impacted with potholes.

"The more information we can gather from the community on potholes and where they are located, the more efficient use of time and resources can be allocated," he said.

"There is a great FREE smart phone App that residents can use to help inform Council about their roads. 

"Called Snap Send Solve, its a free App that takes a photo of the pothole and uses GPS to help pinpoint the location.  This information is then sent into Council and staff are tasked to inspect and carry out the necessary works.

"It's simple, fast and helps inform our work crews," Mayor Richardson said.

Find out more at The Snap Send Solve website (www.snapsendsolve.com).  The App is available for Apple and android smart phones.

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