Management of Unsealed Roads within the Narrabri Shire Council Local Government Area

Cain, Michael (2017) Management of Unsealed Roads within the Narrabri Shire Council Local Government Area. [USQ Project]


The transport of people and goods is essential to the economic and social needs of the community. Maintenance and development of road networks are faced with a number of challenges, including the continuing growth in vehicle numbers, use of larger and heavier vehicles and increasing concern for the effects these networks pose to the environment. Unsealed roads in Australia make up a large portion of road networks and this is no different for the Narrabri Shire Council area. Narrabri Shire Council is faced with a large area to cover and often limited funds to maintain these assets. Importance is placed on increasing efficiency and consistency, resulting in the need for the unsealed road classification system that has been developed.

A four class system was developed that is accompanied by set geometric standards, maintenance practices that need to be applied and the frequency that it needs to occur. Maintenance was separated into two main activities; maintenance grading and gravel resheeting. Applying the developed maintenance system to all unsealed roads within the Narrabri Shire Council occurred and a cost estimate has been produced to undertake the annual works.

A comparison of the annual cost estimate was made against the historical records for previous years showing a significant cost saving for maintenance grading, resulting in the activity being suitable for use under the current situation. Estimated gravel resheeting expenditure was calculated at being largely higher than current spending and therefore will not be suitable for application under the current conditions.

The net result of applying the entire project yields an increased spending of approximately $900k annually, however will produce more efficient use of maintenance teams and increase safety and ride comfort for road users. It will also provide a method for consistent maintenance practices and road standards that hadn’t existed previously. By increasing the standard of unsealed roads across the shire it will minimise the potential for liability costs and increase user satisfaction.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Civil) (Honours)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Thorpe, David; Smetanin, Anthony
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2022 03:06
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2022 03:06
Uncontrolled Keywords: unsealed roads; management

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