A vital assessment of Wagga’s pothole-plagued roads is almost finished, helping to shore up council’s plea for emergency repair funds.
The common consensus among local politicians is the NSW government must pick up the tab for repairs to Wagga’s atrocious roads, but Wagga MP Daryl Maguire has repeatedly stressed council must “appraise the damage” before any funding is negotiated.
Wagga council refused an interview, but in a written statement a council spokesman said the critical survey was nearing completion.
“The Wagga Local Government Area has a combined sealed and unsealed road network of around 2300km, which has been severely impacted by the recent minor flood event and heavy rain – particularly outside the urban area,” the spokesman said.
“City of Wagga technical staff have assessed about 80 per cent of the major sealed road network so far, which is the highest priority as they are high speed and have a larger amount of traffic, including more heavy vehicles.
“Assessment will then move on to minor, local and unsealed roads.
“The estimated repair cost for the entire network will most likely be in the millions of dollars.”
Wagga roads campaigner Garry Gurtner described the state of local roads as “shameful” and tipped a complete repair would cost in the order of $50 million.
“Roads are so important for Wagga’s economy, but they’ve just fallen to pieces,” Mr Gurtner said.
“Roads have been deteriorating in Wagga for last 25 years – they’re way past their used by date – it just took a wet year for them to completely disintegrate.
“As it stands, they’re just patching over the potholes and the next day the bitumen is coming loose again.
“They have to strip the surface back and completely resurface these roads otherwise nothing will change; so it will take $50 million to do it properly.”
Late last week a chunk of bitumen was flicked up by a car driving in front of Mr Gurtner.
“It put another great big chip in my roof; it’s bloody dangerous,” he said.