Potholes and paths should be a priority

Central Coast roads have become a pothole frenzy and safety is being compromised by motorists to avoid damage to vehicles. Yet Central Coast Council claims it has filled 32,000 potholes that were the result of intense and continued rainfall since the beginning of the year.

Member for The Entrance David Mehan is unhappy about the state of Central Coast roads

3 June 2022

ALAN HAYES

 

MEMBER for The Entrance, David Mehan, has made representations to the Minister for Regional Roads and Transport as well as the Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport regarding the state of our roads and footpaths on the Central Coast.

 

Mr. Mehan said that his office has been inundated with resident concerns about increased rates and decreased amenity. The State Government needs to provide any available funding to Central Coast Council to maintain its roads and fix its potholes.

 

Despite the pothole filling that has been undertaken, Council said "Only temporary repair works can be undertaken during wet weather, which is why potholes can reappear within only weeks of repair." Why then has repair work that has been carried out during the past two weeks, when the sun was blazing, already starting to fall apart?

 

Many of the roads that have had bitumen thrown into them and rolled are in need of major repair work to restore the surface to a safe condition. Pothole filling is not enough - motorists are still having to avoid these sections of damaged road putting all road-users at risk.

 

Council Administrator Rik Hart said “Now that we have longer-term stability of our rates revenue, Council can carefully reinvest in services where we are not currently meeting community expectations of service levels, for example into our vast road network.

 

"Council is currently exploring further opportunities to obtain funding associated with natural disasters to help with road restoration works to repair damage caused by weather events. This external funding will help Council return the region’s roads and related infrastructure back to a satisfactory condition.”

 

The Grapevine has previously reported, after uncovering the truth, that the 15% rate increase burden was a condition of the $150 million loan negotiated by Hart on behalf of the Council to repay that loan - a loan that was used to pay down existing debt. It was also a condition of that loan that infrastructure services had to be cut to the bone - a fact that Hart omitted to tell ratepayers. There is no money for proper and safe road restoration.

 

Yet there is something motorists can do! A precedent in law has already been established, when in 1998 a driver successfully sued Randwick Council for wheel damage to his BMW because the Council failed to repair potholes in a timely manner. The state of Central Coast roads has left many drivers with expensive tyre and rim damage and it would behoove them to consider legal advice in regards to recovering the cost of the damage to their motor vehicles.

 

The wet weather has also raised awareness of the lack of footpaths in the region. Footpaths are an essential amenity. Without them people are sinking into the mud.

 

Footpaths should be readily available across the Central Coast. Any funding the State Government can provide to ensure the construction of footpaths continues is imperative.

 

“The amenity across the Central Coast is diminishing due a to lack of funding," said David Mehan. "This should be addressed immediately.

 

“The State Government needs to step up and assist Central Coast Council in its ability to discharge its duty to residents of the Central Coast and any assistance I can provide in making this happen I will continue to do so.

 

“Our residents deserve better. They’re paying increased rates, and at the moment receiving little return. This needs to change.”

 

Potholes are formed when moisture penetrates a paved surface, or by the groundwater under the pavement.  When the water heats up or cools down it causes expansion and contraction causing the pavement to weaken with the added pressure.

 

Another reason potholes are formed is when there is a weak spot already on the surface. When a car or truck passes over it, the weight of the vehicle causes the surface to break down further to create the pothole.

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