Port Macquarie-Hastings says proactively maintaining roads is not about fixing the worst roads first.
In a letter to Ballina Crescent residents, group manager infrastructure planning Cameron Hawkins outlined council's methodology for its road maintenance program.
He said the road resurfacing plan for Port Macquarie is to work from south to north with works currently planned in the Lighthouse Beach and Greenmeadows areas for 2020/2021.
"The current plan is for resealing roads in the canals area in 2023 -2024 and at this time funds will be allocated to the resurfacing of Ballina Crescent to ensure all local roads in the area are maintained at the same time," he said.
"This plan is based on our current level of funding and as budgets are only set every year by council it is subject to change.
"If more funding is allocated to roads it may be brought forward and if less it will be pushed back.
If more funding is allocated to roads it may be brought forward and if less it will be pushed back.Cameron Hawkins
"In relation to the plan for earlier this year/late 2019, the works being investigated on Ballina Crescent was in response to our unsealed road grading crews suspending works due to the drought (a lot of water is used to grade an unsealed road) and the need to keep the crews working.
"The plan was to reallocate the unsealed roads maintenance funding to resurfacing Ballina.
"As substantial rain was received in February this year unsealed road grading was able to recommence and unfortunately works did not occur on Ballina Crescent."
Mr Hawkins said council is currently looking into grant funding opportunities to bring the resurfacing of Ballina Crescent forward, however nothing has been confirmed at this stage.
He said council's current approach to resealing and resurfacing roads is an optimised proactive one aimed at preventative maintenance first and extending the road asset life across an area of work.
Essentially trying to keep okay roads good and renewing poorer quality roads based on their classification and importance in the network, like Bay Street, he said.
"Ideally roads should be resealed every 10 to 15 years to ensure the surface holds together and keeps water out," he said.
"This is something we are trying to achieve and get on top of but unfortunately there is a large backlog of works.
"While I know this does not provide an immediate answer for resurfacing Ballina Crescent I hope it shows that we do have a plan," he said.
"Proactively maintaining roads is not about fixing the worst roads first.
"To reseal a fair condition road to keep it in good condition costs on average $5 to $6 per square metre. To completely resurface a poor condition road costs $30 to $40 per square metre.
"As roads deteriorate over time if a significant amount of funds is used to fix a small amount of poor roads all the fair condition roads would end up a poor condition before you finished and you would never keep on top of it.
"Unfortunately, Ballina Crescent should have been resealed before it deteriorated."
Unfortunately, Ballina Crescent should have been resealed before it deteriorated.Cameron Hawkins
Mr Hawkins said to ensure council achieve an outcome for the residents we will ensure the funds are allocated to resurface the road at the same time as the other canal roads are resealed.
Ballina Crescent resident Deborah Hale last week raised her concerns with council about the condition of the road and the lack of canal dredging maintenance works
Ms Hale said she was disappointed that council was yet to dredge the Ballina Crescent canal.
But Mr Hawkins said there is a misalignment of expectations about dredging and placing sand on beaches.
"The current contract will undertake the required dredging in Ballina Canal, however dredging to remove the boating navigation hazards and returning the canal to below its design depth does not mean all the beaches will have sand placed on them," he said.
"This is a different maintenance activity.
"We have been able to achieve the secondary outcome of placing sand on beaches in other areas due to the proximity of the material needing to be dredged and the beaches.
"Unfortunately this is not the case for Ballina and Newport canals."
Also making news:
Thank you for valuing local journalism with your subscription. While you're with us, you can also receive updates straight to your inbox from the Port Macquarie News. To make sure you're up to date with all the news, sign up here.