Roads

Council manages around 700 kilometres of sealed roads and 475 kilometres of unsealed roads across the Snowy Valleys region that we proactively maintain and manage to increase the safety and quality of the road network.

We conduct three types of road maintenance: road reseals, road rehabilitation and road reconstruction.

To report a pothole or any other issues on our road network call 1300 275 782 (1300 ASK SVC) or email [email protected]

Frequently Asked Questions

How are roads classified in NSW?

Roads in NSW are grouped into a three-tier administrative classification of State, Regional and Local Roads:

  • State Roads - are major arterial links throughout the State and within major urban areas which are the responsibility of the State Government to fund and prioritise, due to their significance in the network.  State Roads include roads classified under the Roads Act 1993 as Freeways, State Highways and important Main Roads.
  • Regional Roads - are routes of secondary importance between State Roads and Local Roads. It is ultimately the responsibility of Councils to fund, prioritise and carry out works on Regional Roads.  Council’s are eligible for funding assistance from the State Government in recognition of their importance to the network. Overall, SVC maintains approximately 168 kilometres of Regional Roads.
  • Local Roads - are the remaining Council controlled roads which provide for local circulation and access.  Local Roads are eligible for State Government grant funding to support maintenance through the Fixing Local Roads (FLR) program as well as Financial Assistants Grant (FAG) funding through the Federal Government.

 

What are the State Roads located in the Snowy Valleys?

State Roads are major arterial links throughout the State and within major urban areas which are the responsibility of the State Government to fund and prioritise, due to their significance in the network.  State Roads include roads classified under the Roads Act 1993 as Freeways, State Highways and important Main Roads.

State Roads in the Snowy Valleys maintained with the assistance of Council under a road maintenance contract are:

  • Gocup Road 
  • Batlow Road
  • Tumbarumba Road
  • Jingellic Road
  • Alpine Way (from Khancoban to Tom Groggin)

State Roads maintained by the NSW Government are:

  • Snowy Mountains Highway
  • Alpine Way (from Tom Groggin onwards)

If you have concerns about road conditions on a State Road, the best way to report it is to submit your information to Transport for NSW 

What are the Regional Roads that Council manages?

Regional Roads are routes of secondary importance between State Roads and Local Roads. 

Overall, SVC maintains approximately 168 kilometres of Regional Roads.

Regional Roads managed by Council:

  • Wee Jasper Road - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Wondalga Road - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Broadleaf Park - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Tooma Road - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Elliot Way (Part) - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Khancoban to Cabramurra Road - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Alpine Road from border (Bingenbrong to Khancoban) - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding

How much does Council spend on road maintenance and renewals?

Typically, Council spends around $3.1 million per annum on the maintenance of roads including, but not limited to, the repair of potholes, grading unsealed roads and controlling vegetation based on priority and risk.

A further $4.5 million per annum is spent on renewing roads and new construction. These works are prioritised based on road safety and avoiding premature failure, particularly by resealing and resurfacing sealed roads.

Council receives grants of around $3.5million per annum from the State and Federal Governments towards our road maintenance and construction budget.  $1.2 million of the funding is from the Regional Road Block Grant which is provided to assist Council with the cost of works on Regional Roads (SVC maintains approximately 168 kilometres of Regional Roads).

Regional Roads managed by Council:

  • Wee Jasper Road - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Wondalga Road - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Broadleaf Park - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Tooma Road - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Elliot Way (Tooma Rd to Kosciuszko National park boundary) - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Khancoban to Cabramurra Road - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding
  • Alpine Way from border (Bingenbrong to Khancoban) - Council managed road with funding assistance provided through the State Governments Regional Road Block Grant Funding

How are roads prioritised for repair and maintenance?

The way we prioritise our road repairs and maintenance is much like maintaining a house.

When potholes occur, we need to fix them as soon as possible so they don’t turn into larger problems. We know this is a temporary fix but fully resealing every road where potholes occur needs more money, time and resourcing.

We plan for this and know that in the long term it will help protect our roads and increase their lifespan. 

Council aims to reseal every 15 to 20 years and in between, we undertake a patch here and there to keep the roads safe and drivable.

Sometimes, it looks like we are resealing a road that has nothing wrong with it and in some instances this is correct. But, just like your house, we don’t want to wait until there is something wrong with it. We know that if we reseal our roads every 10-15 years, we’ll keep them in better condition and reduce costs down the track.

After 20 years in your home, you might need to start to think about doing some serious maintenance like replacing gutters or rebuilding a deck. A paint job won’t fix these problems and we don’t want them to get worse. This is similar to when we heavy patch larger sections of a road.

After 30 years in your house it might be time for a full renovation – the bones are still good, but it’s time for a major overhaul. It’s expensive, but still cheaper than a new house. This can be compared to the rehabilitation of the road pavement where we not only fix the top layers but also work on the subgrade and improve what’s underneath the road.

Finally, after 40 years of living in your home it might be time to consider a knock down and rebuild. For our road network, this equates to a full reconstruction and will include drainage, road widening and pedestrian access improvements.

How do you choose which roads will be repaired?

Pothole repairs and heavy patches are prioritised based on the level of risk they pose.

Road rehabilitation and upgrades are prioritised by the condition of the pavement, the age and the use of the road.

Sometimes, we have to change our schedule to accommodate a new project due to a specific grant program.

 

How do you know where the potholes are?

We have road inspectors who travel our road network regularly and report on pothole locations - size and associated risk, and we do regular road reviews.

The information that comes in from the public is also important. The more data we have the better we can manage our road network to ensure it is safe for our community.

Why are some potholes fixed before others?

Potholes need to be repaired as quickly as possible however, after heavy rain, we get lots of potholes and need to priorities which ones get fixed first.

We have a very specific criteria for determining the risk associated with each pothole which includes things like the traffic volume and whether the pothole is in the middle of the road, to the side and so on.

When our road crews head out to fix a high risk pothole, they also fix many smaller, less risky ones nearby to save time and money.

We always try to get to the most dangerous potholes first.

Why do you throw gravel in the pothole instead of fixing it properly?

It’s not quite as simple as that. To fix a pothole properly we need to reseal or rehabilitate the road and we just don’t have the resources to do this on every road.

So, outside of this we have to use temporary measures to fix potholes. There’s two ways we can do this, a cold patch or a hot mix.

Cold patch

When we have constant rain – like we have recently – a cold patch is the best method to use. We need to fill as many holes as we can to avoid risk to our community. And if it’s raining, a hot mix won’t set properly.

After a major storm event – we just need to fix the cracks – a bit like if your roof leaked, you need to patch it immediately to stop more water getting in and damaging the rest of the roof.

A cold patch really is a quick fix – a surface level fix – they aren’t as effective as a hot mix and don’t last nearly as long. But again, it’s all about reducing the risk to our community. We know it won’t last a very long time, but if we don’t get out as quick as possible, we also know it won’t take long before more damage occurs underneath and we are up for more money and more maintenance.

Further repairs – such as a hot mix repair – will be needed only a short time later.

Hot mix

We use hot mix when we want to repair substantial potholes, in dry weather and know the repair will last. The pavement around the pothole is excavated and then filled in and sealed with hot asphalt.

This type of repair addresses the underlying problems that caused the pothole and prevents more damage from occurring.

They cost more up front, but they end up costing less in the long run as no further repairs will be needed in the short term.

Why does it take so long for a road to be built or repaired?

There’s a lot that goes into a road pavement. Apart from what we see on the surface, there are layers of construction underneath the road that require proper attention to minimise the need for future road repairs.

When working on roads, we also need to maintain traffic flow which takes time and slows down the process.

When we build a road, you can compare the process to painting raw timber. After painting the first coat we need to let it dry before coming back to paint the second layer – to allow the second coat to bond to the first. The first layer is also wetter than the others – we have to let it bond and dry out.

Once dry, we let a new road settle out to make sure we haven’t missed any failures or spots to fix. Similar to paintwork – before it’s finalised, you find those bubbles and missed spots and fix them.

Do you apply for grants for building and repairing roads?

Yes, all the time. Grant funding from State and Federal Governments is generally for the replacement of roads and over the years, Council has been successful in receiving grants for road rehabilitation and road resealing.

 

Why isn't my gravel road sealed?

Across the Snowy Valleys, we have 475km of unsealed roads.

Unsealed, gravel roads are cheaper to maintain and have significantly less traffic volumes than our sealed roads and generally service semi-rural locations. 

For our existing gravel road maintenance, we undertake three levels of gravel road maintenance:

Level 1: Complete gravel re-sheet

This is where the entire road is re-gravelled, re-shaped, drains reinstated, culverts cleaned and you essentially have a “new” gravel road.

Level 2: Proactive maintenance grading

This is a proactive scheduled program where the grader, roller and water cart grade the full length of each road in turn. They undertake limited drainage works and they may add a truckload or two of gravel to ‘top up’ the worst sections.

The number of maintenance grades each road receives per year is based on a traffic volume. This is efficient and effective as the grading crew is located in one area for a period of time and can fully address all the roads in that area before moving to the next area.

Level 3: Reactive response maintenance

This is a reactive risk based activity where roads are inspected more frequently (generally after a storm event) and the priority of works is continually revised and reprioritised.

On this basis, the higher use heavier trafficked, through roads get prioritised over the lower use roads.