Rough times are ahead for Central Highlands’ gravel roads because there is not enough water to maintain them.
Central Highlands Regional Council is putting a halt on unsealed road maintenance where water sources are lacking and is asking people to drive to conditions.
Mayor Kerry Hayes said working the roads without water makes matters worse in the long run.
‘We are now at a point where our crews don’t have access to the amount of water needed to do the job,’ he said.
‘Transporting water from elsewhere is not viable due to associated resources required and costs and, arguably, livestock need it more than the roads at this point in time.’
Acting infrastructure overseer Dean Suhr said it’s a vicious cycle.
‘The longer a road with traffic goes without rain, the more water is needed for maintenance works,’ he said.
‘Grading the road dry means losing fine material that holds the road together, over the long-term this leads to more issues.’
There’s no telling when maintenance on unsealed roads will continue as usual.
‘Once we get rain, we’ll assess the situation,’ the mayor said.
‘In the meantime, all we can do is ask people to be patient, drive to conditions on rough and corrugated roads and hope that the season breaks.’
Where a road situation is identified to be significantly unsafe, it will be assessed for emergency repairs.