The City of Greater Geelong’s Road Management Plan (RMP) has been put on hold in favour of prioritising the repair of a large number of flood-damaged roads, footpaths and shared paths in the region.
The necessary repairs come following an extended rainfall event nearly two weeks ago which resulted in severe flooding along the region’s waterways and in isolated areas of the urban stormwater network, and inundation of the City’s infrastructure.
As of 21 October, there were nearly 500 outstanding requests to fix drainage assets and 300 requests for pothole repairs created by the flooding, with an average of ten new pothole requests coming in each day.
The City has since received 135 after-hours call outs related to the storm on 21 October and rain over the weekend.
Inspectors are reviewing bridges and waterway channels before restarting proactive road inspections, which is expected to result in a significant increase in work, with several assets that are under water or inaccessible for inspection requiring considerable restoration.
Despite many footpaths requiring scraping and cleaning of mud and debris, resources are being diverted to higher priority clean up works.
Given the breadth of damage and the diversion of resources, the RMP – which sets the standards for inspection, maintenance and repair of sealed and unsealed roads, footpaths, shared paths, kerb and channel, bridges, waterway channels and traffic control devices – will be suspended for three months.
City of Greater Geelong Acting CEO, Kaarina Phyland, said the RMP allows for temporary suspensions during natural disasters and other events out of Council’s control.
“Greater Geelong experienced 50-70mm of rain across the Barwon, Moorabool and Leigh river catchments between 12-15 October, causing widespread damage,” Ms Phyland said.
“Other Victorian councils, such as the City of Greater Bendigo, Mitchell Shire and Golden Plains Shire, have also enacted this special clause to suspend their RMPs in light of the recent flood damage.
“The team has been working incredibly hard to ensure community safety following these rain events.
“The City will continue to make every effort to comply with the RMP, but expects to be challenged by the set timeframes given the situation.”
A plan is being developed to manage outstanding requests for service and to reactivate the RMP.