A NEW pothole machine would save ratepayers money and make Bathurst’s roads a lot safer, councillor Warren Aubin has said.
He has urged Bathurst Regional Council to invest in a new machine to replace the “archaic” one that it received after the amalgamation of Evans Shire Council.
“The reason I am pushing for this is just the mere fact that I think the way potholes are fixed right now is not adequate,” Cr Aubin said.
“I think just throwing blue metal into a hole and packing it in is not working.”
In an average year, council spends between $300,000 and $500,000 on pothole maintenance.
It exceeded this figure last year after the city experienced more than the normal amount of wet weather, wreaking havoc on road surfaces.
Potholes appeared across the city, but were particularly problematic on Eglinton Road near All Saints College, where it took several resurfacing attempts to get it sealed right.
Cr Aubin said it only takes a small crack in the road surface and a bit of rain for a pothole to form, which then takes a crew of several council staff to repair.
A new machine would take less man power, ensuring council staff are utilised effectively.
“As it is, we have a gang go around and do these things and it is a gang of about six people who have to go around fixing potholes all day, when the machine only needs one person,” Cr Aubin said.
“We can free up our workers and get our workforce more efficient.”
His research has found that a new machine could cost around $250,000 to purchase, but the advanced technology would provide a better fix.
“With the new technology in the pothole machine, they dig a hole, blow a flame into it to dry it out and put in what we would call a hot mix,” he said.
“Then they drive off with a roller on the back and roll over the top of it.”
Cr Aubin said having an abundance of potholes that aren’t repaired properly leaves motorists at risk of sustaining wheel and suspension damage to their cars and swerving off the road.
“It is just not a good look having potholes on our roads and it is dangerous for motorists,” he said.
When asked whether the solution to the pothole problem would be a better road surface, Cr Aubin said it was a question he had asked council himself.
The answer he was given was that it would cost three times more than a normal surface to lay and if there was any movement under the surface a hot mix solution would crack.
“That is why you only see hot mix on the major roads, because they are better built and usually have a concrete base,” Cr Aubin said.
He added that council had increased its local roads budget by $2 million, which he hoped would ease the issues motorists face.
“When ratepayers put down what needs fixing in the city, roads are number one,” he said.
“So hopefully we will see some improvements.”