17 March 2017
Orange City Council is making good progress on its plan to upgrade the length of the northern bypass, and is taking advice from independent experts as the next sections are planned.
With work under way this month on the three latest sections of the bypass, a report to next week’s council meeting reveals almost the entire the length of the road has been improved in the last two years.
Orange City Council’s Infrastructure Committee Chair Cr Glenn Taylor said he’s pleased with the progress that’s been made.
“Two years back, Orange City Council heard loud and clear that the community was not happy with the state of the bypass,” Cr Glenn Taylor said. “The list of work was drawn up, and we’ve been getting on with the job.”
“And once the current work between the Ophir Rd roundabout, near Icely Rd and over the hill to the Mitchell Highway is complete in the coming weeks, only the section between Hill Street and Clergate Rd remains to be done.”
“It’s been a huge effort and it’s taken record road funding to get this work done, so it’s good to report back on progress to the people of Orange.”
Cr Taylor said a range of roadworks had happened along the bypass, depending what needed to be done.
“Upgrading a road is not a simple as some would have you believe, and as the work has happened on different sections of the road, I’m pleased the community has picked up a much better understanding of how roads are built. The quality of public debate about roads has lifted enormously.”
“People are talking about the need for improved gravel foundations as well as different kinds of surfaces,
such as hot-mix and gravel bitumen seals. They have a better understanding of how much a good road
costs and the tough decisions that have to be taken about how to get the best value for money,” Cr Taylor said.
“In some sections of the bypass, we had to dig up and rehabilitate the underlying gravel pavement, before adding as much as 285 mm of hot mix on tops as the surface seal. In other sections, such as the road between the Ophir Rd roundabout and Icely Rd, the gravel has been tested and found to be in good condition so extra layers of hot mix are being added without disturbing the base.”
“Independent tests on the bypass between Icely Rd and the highway, have shown we need to rehabilitate the underlying gravel and add cement hardeners before adding a high performance 2-coat polymer modified bitumen-gravel surface which incorporates an additional fabric seal.
This will reduce the potential for cracking and preventing water from getting under the roadway.”
“We’ll also be adding a deep layer of hot mix on the road between Astill Drive and the Ophir Rd
“Next Tuesday’s meeting will vote on a proposal to allocate a further $3 million for this work. Because of
the quality of the upgrade work that’s been done, the costs are higher than expected but we need to
make more progress.”