Lismore to Kyogle road is littered with potholes.
Lismore to Kyogle road is littered with potholes. DOUG EATON

Lismore's bad roads will get even worse

LEAVING the sickest patients to die while operating on those who can be saved is never easy, but a necessary evil in war.

Lismore City Council is in a permanent war to maintain its road network, and its latest strategy is an equally painful decision - and a tough sell to residents.

Under the new plan, reconstruction of Lismore's worst roads - both rural and urban - will be postponed to coincide with a boost in maintenance on those still in fair condition.

According to the council's urban works engineer Dean Baldwin, the traditional split of 50/50 between maintenance and upgrade work will shift to around 70% maintenance and 30% upgrades.

That means the number of annual road reconstruction projects undertaken will drop from five to three, with excess funds injected into road rehabilitation and resealing.

Council infrastructure staff have now estimated $6.7 million needs to be spent from council coffers on the road network next year, an increase of $700,000, to be taken from stormwater, cycleways and footpath funding programs which will now be abolished.

"We're building less new assets - we're not widening roads, or building stormwater drains as much because we can't afford to increase our network," Mr Baldwin said.

So will this have an effect on the pothole count?

"Ultimately the amount of pot- holes will reduce because the seals will be in good condition," Mr Baldwin said.

But residents living on already dilapidated roads will be forced to watch their roads get worse as the reconstruction projects are put on council's backburner.

"Preventive maintenance is an extremely hard sell... (but) engineering-wise that is the best use of money," Mr Baldwin said.

A NRMA survey released this week also found potholes topped the list of Northern Rivers voters' concerns.

Good roads, bad roads

"Red" Roads - Heavily potholed, requiring full construction.

  • Phyllis St, South Lismore
  • Bellevue Ave, Lismore Heights
  • Avondale Ave, East Lismore

"Green" Roads - needing reseal surfacing only

  • Boatharbour Rd, Eltham
  • Rock Valley Rd, Tuncester
  • Holland St, Goonellabah.
  • Oliver Ave, Goonellabah.