Roads in Brisbane.

New smart technology is helping Logan City Council overcome the rising cost of road construction and materials, as the city employs new AI tools to better identify issues. 

Council’s 2023-24 Budget provides $121 million for capital projects as part of a $265 million investment in roads, drainage and engineering services.

This will fund a program of upgrades to ensure the city’s growing local road network stays in top shape. 

The costs of building and materials for roadworks have increased by up to 35 per cent in the past 12 months, mainly due to massive price increases to petroleum-based bitumen and quarry materials, while road and drainage project costs have increased around 18 per cent.

Council uses more than 97,500t of asphalt every year.

In a bid to get as much road or repairs as possible for each dollar spent, Council has trialled new technology and machinery. Budget funding will allow this to continue.

High-tech camera equipment, using artificial intelligence-based computer programs, has been used to ‘map’ hundreds of kilometres of the city’s roads.

Vehicle-mounted cameras scan the roads and the AI program assesses and identifies pavement issues that can be addressed and fixed before they deteriorate to a point where major works are required to fix problem areas.

Infrastructure Chair, Teresa Lane, said it was a state-of-the-art approach to road maintenance.

“We are using the latest technology to keep our roads in the best and safest shape for drivers,” Cr Lane said.

“By quickly identifying and fixing issues, we can take care of minor problems before they become major projects. I look forward to seeing the city-wide benefits this technology will bring.” 

Council’s road crews have also been trialling a specially fitted-out truck, known as a Jet Patcher, which allows for faster, safer and more efficient repair of potholes.

Since January of 2022, Council has fixed 30,000 potholes across the city.

A four-stage repair process with the Jet Patcher includes a high-pressure air cleaning of the pothole, then mechanised spraying and layering of bitumen and aggregate (loose stones) to fill and seal the hole – all done from the safety of the truck cabin with just one other crew member supervising outside.

Key road and drainage-related projects underway, or in the pipeline in the City of Logan include:

  • $73 million upgrade at Loganlea Road to six lanes between Logan Motorway and Pacific Motorway
  • $38 million upgrade of Chambers Flat Road, from Mt Lindesay Highway to Kings Way
  • $32.6 million master drainage upgrade beneath Kelly Street and Cowper Avenue, Eagleby to improve flood resilience
  • $6.8 million second stage of Jimboomba local road upgrades
  • $4.7 million in Australian Government funding to help fix accident blackspots including the Logan Reserve Road and School Road intersection at Logan Reserve, and Browns Plains Road and Waller Road intersection at Browns Plains

Council is also using foamed bitumen to quickly seal roads.

Water vaporises as it is injected into hot bitumen, making the mixture expand up to 15 times its original volume, which increases pavement strength.

Using recycled crushed concrete in local road projects is saving 10,000t of spoil from landfill.

It is extending the lifespan of the city’s landfill sites, saving transport costs and decreasing its carbon footprint.

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