Rough and ready

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Lechelle Earl, owner/editor

Rough and ready

Amulti-million dollar upgrade of a popular coastal road has not greatly improved the ride for motorists.

Nevertheless, the State Government has defended public criticisms of the $2m outlay on an 8km portion of the Southern Ports Highway between Beachport and Millicent.

Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis has conceded the work will not eliminate road roughness.

Independent Member for MacKillop Nick McBride quizzed the minister in State Parliament last week.

According to Mr McBride, the Southern Ports Highway and Princes Highway are among the most complained about roads in his electorate.

“Constituents say recent road maintenance is already showing signs of deterioration and works are not to a quality standard,” Mr McBride said.

In reply, Minister Koutsantonis said the preparatory pavement repair works by his Department of Transport and Infrastructure commenced in March of this year.

“Two of the three sections, between Lake Frome and Rendelsham and between McCall Road and Bowman Road, have been completed, including the final seal,” Minister Koutsantonis said.

“The final 2.4km section at Mullins Swamp has had a temporary seal applied, with the final sealing scheduled for late 2024.

“There have been a number of community concerns raised about the quality of these works, which I think goes to the heart of the question.

“I think they relate to the failure of the surfacing on some of the preparatory works, which were stripped due to poor adhesion, I am advised, of the primer seal.

“These issues were rectified prior to applying the final two-coat seal in April.

“My understanding of this – and I am not an expert in road sealing – is these works will reduce the deterioration of these sections, but they will not significantly improve the road roughness.

“The community may perceive this as an inadequate treatment, but I am advised by the department that it actually is working well.

“We as a government are continuing to work towards improving the condition of our regional roads.

“The blowout in the maintenance backlog that was incurred under the previous government is something that one single term of government cannot overcome.”

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