13 April 2022

Holiday motorists face additional hazards as State urged to fix highway potholes

| Claire Fenwicke
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An example of the potholes found on highways in the Eurobodalla Council region

An example of the potholes found on highways in the Eurobodalla Council region. Photo: Eurobodalla Council.

Motorists streaming down the coast for the holidays will face additional hazards this Easter – deep potholes and badly damaged road sections.

Eurobodalla Shire Council this week urged Transport for NSW to take action and fix dangerous potholes on the Princes and Kings Highways.

“I understand resources are stretched and the weather difficult, but vehicles are being damaged and residents are avoiding travel,” council’s director of infrastructure Warren Sharpe said.

“We’ve asked Transport for NSW to prioritise pothole repairs.”

While councils look after local roads, Transport for NSW is responsible for maintaining and repairing highways.

Wet weather, bushfires and two years of flooding in the region have exacerbated the potholes, along with a 30 per cent increase in traffic over the past five years.

Eurobodalla Council’s works manager Tony Swallow recently said Transport for NSW was well aware of severe damage to both the Princes and Kings Highways.

“They are working as fast as they can, but this isn’t limited to Eurobodalla,” he said.

“There’s significant damage all over the eastern seaboard in the areas that experienced extended heavy rain.”

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In the meantime, he said the best thing for drivers to do was to slow down, show patience and take extra care.

A Transport for NSW spokesperson confirmed the department was aware of pothole issues in the region and that it had been working closely with Eurobodalla Council throughout the year as part of routine maintenance and repairs.

“The recent unprecedented rainfall has caused extensive damage to roads, including potholes, across the state,” she said.

“Transport for NSW road crews are working around the clock to make repairs and keep roads open and safe.

“We are in the emergency and immediate response phase of this extended extreme weather event and assessments of asset damage and recovery costs are still in progress.”

Road works on the Kings Highway

Road works on Kings Highway. Photo: Kim Treasure.

In the Queanbeyan-Palerang Council Region, local crews have been contracted by Transport for NSW to complete extensive safety upgrades to sections of Kings Highway over the next 15 months.

“Crews are currently working on a section between Tudor Valley Road and Northangera Road, 10 kilometres east of Braidwood,” a QPRC spokesperson said.

“This section of road was badly affected by heavy rain in March.”

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Meanwhile, Eurobodalla Council crews continue repairs to local roads, prioritising arterial roads such as George Bass Drive and Beach Road.

“We’re continuously patrolling our highest traffic roads looking for potholes,” Mr Swallow said.

“We’re working through the backlog, but it’s going to take time.”

The issue with fixing potholes is that clear weather is needed to dry everything out before more permanent repairs occur.

“Small potholes are fixed by placing a cold-mix into the holes, while some larger potholes and failing pavement will require full removal and replacement,” Mr Swallow said.

“This means some repairs will be temporary and will need repeat attention until we have the time and gear for a permanent fix.”

Motorists who find issues with any highways are encouraged to contact Transport for NSW’s traffic management centre on 131 700.

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