A national project to help local government road managers assess bridges, culverts and other assets on key local roads will begin shortly.
Run by the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator with $7.96 million in Commonwealth funding, the project is the pilot phase of the Strategic Local Government Asset Assessment Project (SLGAAP) announced in 2019.
It is designed to improve heavy vehicle access by identifying current and potential key heavy vehicle freight routes; to help councils manage road asset data related to heavy vehicles; and to provide a central database of road asset information for councils and industry.
Twelve councils are taking part in the pilot, including:
• Bega Valley Shire Council, Cessnock City Council, Muswellbrook Shire Council (NSW);
• Central Highlands Regional Council, Isaac Regional Council, Mackay Regional Council, Toowoomba Regional Council (Qld);
• Barossa Council (SA);
• Glenelg Shire Council, City of Greater Dandenong, Pyrenees Shire Council (Vic); and
• Town of Port Hedland (WA).
Assistant Minister for Road Safety and Freight Transport Scott Buchholz said many assets like bridges and culverts on local roads have not been assessed in many years.
“For many local councils, especially in regional and rural Australia, the task of assessing infrastructure can be complex, especially when you consider the enormous number of different vehicle configurations.
“This project will balance productivity and reduce movement risks by giving local councils access to engineers and other experts so they can make the best decisions about improving accessibility.”
A NHVR report with recommendations for potential improvement or replacement of infrastructure to enhance heavy vehicle productivity is due by September 2021. More information on the project can be found at the NHVR web page.
In other news, the NHVR is freezing fee increases on all NHVR-provided services until January 2021 to help operators through the pandemic.
The fee freeze will also apply to heavy vehicle access permit applications where the NHVR liaises with state, territory, and local governments. Click here for the list of NHVR fees.