Clarence Valley Council in the NSW Northern Rivers region has sourced a state-of-the-art machine to undertake some cost-effective and productive road repairs.
Council’s Civil and Works team has hired an Asphalt Zipper to assist with the response to the backlog of deteriorating roads in the wake of the February/March floods.
“The Zipper cuts, crushes and mixes the asphalt into reusable material in one pass,” Director Civil and Works, Jamie Fleeting said.
“It achieves comparable results, in a few days, to a full rehabilitation, which would normally take weeks.
“In addition to time savings, there is also a reduction in material waste and fuel resulting in significant cost savings.”
Road crews have taken advantage of the dry weather and recently utilised the Asphalt Zipper in Yamba, with the recycled material to be used on Council’s unsealed road network.
Elsewhere, the versatile, portable piece of machinery has been used to recycle materials into the road base on site.
“We have used it on Armidale Road to reinstate a whole series of pavement failures back into safe condition,” Mr Fleeting said.
“The Zipper converts the damaged road surface into uniformly blended, stable, reusable material resulting in a more durable, longer lasting and smoother road for a small fraction of the cost of rehabilitation.”
At any given time, road maintenance is one of the Council’s biggest responsibilities.
But the floods and persistent wet weather in 2022 resulted in a significant increase in the number of road defects. Restoring the road network to pre-flood conditions is a big job that will take at least 12 months achieve, said Mr Fleeting.
“It is important to recognise that Council will always have roads to maintain, however there have been five natural disasters since the 2019 bushfires,” he said.