The Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) is conducting a comprehensive road survey in New South Wales, which will improve its ability to withstand future floods.
The Northern Rivers region has been devastated by severe flooding, particularly in February and March of 2022.
After the severe flooding in Northern NSW last year, ARRB has worked with the Department of Regional NSW to support efforts to build road infrastructure more resilient to future flooding events.
According to ARRB, flooding can cause catastrophic damage to roads through potholing or washing roads away completely, therefore disrupting travel and freight at critical junctures.
ARRB’s work is intended to provide a snapshot of the conditions of the sealed roads across the region after the floods.
As a result, it has recently sent out both its Intelligent Pavement Assessment Vehicle (iPAVe) and the Network Survey Vehicle (NSV) to assess more than 6,500 kilometres of road in the region.
The data collected by the survey vehicles will be used by local councils to inform and direct their maintenance efforts to where they’re needed most to restore and remedy vital infrastructure.
Executive Director (Roads) for the National Transport Research Organisation, Jeff Doyle, said ARRB is working quickly to provide the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation (NRRC) with the necessary data to make informed decisions about restoring and building resilience in their road network.
“The recent floods have highlighted the fact that roads are the infrastructure upon which almost all other infrastructure depends, they are the blood vessels of an economy,” he said.
“Our state-of-the-art data collection technology allows for better community, safety, economic and maintenance decision making.”
The collaborative efforts of ARRB and NRRC in the Northern Rivers region will lay the foundation for the rebuilding and restoration of the local road network.
The project is due for completion by the end of March this year.