The majority of our regional roads were built post-WWII and are coming to the end of their lifespan, which is generally 60-70 years.
The millennium drought at the turn of the century extended the life of many roads but the need to invest to maintain and rebuild our network continues. Increased traffic and extreme wet weather have added to the urgent need for repairs.
The focus of Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) will be to repair and upgrade regional roads, with a record $941 million invested to repair and upgrade regional roads – of which $333 million will be for road maintenance alone.
More than 1,500km will be rebuilt and resurfaced, providing a smoother journey on the key roads that keep regional communities connected.
Working closely with local community and councils, RRV will make sure that the all new investments in the regional road networks goes to the right projects, in a timely way, through better prioritising, planning and delivery.
Roads we maintain
We’re responsible for managing over 19,000kms of major roads and more than 4,000 bridges across our regional road network, including:
- regional freeways
- arterial roads across the state
- a limited number of non-arterial roads.
For a full list, see the VicRoads map of declared roads.
Types of maintenance
We carry out regular maintenance as part of our yearly maintenance plan. Each road has a unique life-cycle, meaning different kinds of works are needed at different times. There are three main types of maintenance works:
- Routine is work that fixes minor defects before they become bigger problems. Works include fixing potholes, cleaning gutters and drains, and repairing damaged signs.
- Periodic is cost-effective work that preserves the road and avoids more expensive rehabilitation work. Works include road resurfacing and corrosion protection for bridges.
- Rehabilitation is extensive work that repairs the road surface. Works include replacing the top and bottom layer of the road.
How we prioritise
We use a strategic prioritisation system to identify the needs of each road. Based on this, we rate the urgency of works by the following:
- Critical is work that is needed to restore a road’s safety or productivity.
- Needed is proactive work that is needed to prevent deterioration of the road in the short term (12-24 months).
- Desirable is proactive work that helps limit premature road damage and minimise the lifetime costs of the road.
Our regional roads need work. A significant funding boost and a fresh approach to maintenance are the first steps in getting our regional roads to an acceptable standard.
We need to prioritise and plan which roads will get fixed within our maintenance program, to deliver the greatest benefits to local communities.
The importance of each road is based on factors, like:
- traffic volumes
- strategic use
Maintenance is seasonal
Water is a roads’ worst enemy. That’s why you’ll see poorer road conditions in areas of high rainfall.
It’s also why we carry out most of our work during the dryer months of the year, usually from October to April or as we call it, maintenance season.
If it’s too wet to carry out maintenance, we’ll put up signs marking the hazards and lower the speed limit until the weather lifts.