Working smarter on Waikato roads
7 Aug 2014, 10:03 AM
WAIKATO MAYORAL FORUM
The rubber’s really starting to hit the road with co-operation over a smarter approach to roading in the region.
Waikato councils are now formally getting underway with a collaboration project aimed at making significant savings on their $160 million year annual road maintenance spending.
The work involved is being supported by a $250,000 grant from the NZ Transport Agency, which funds roading projects nationally and therefore has a clear interest in supporting greater efficiency.
The joint roading work, under a Road Asset Technical Accord (RATA) established by the Waikato councils, is being carried out under the auspices of the Waikato Mayoral Forum.
Hauraki mayor John Tregidga, who chairs the forum’s roading governance group, said it was great to see RATA’s work getting underway.
“Our initial project will be to review the road reconstruction and resealing programmes of each council to assess the merits of each others’ approaches and what we can learn from each other when it comes to making efficiencies and savings,” he said.
“This is expected to identify where we can co-operate more to reduce costs and ensure that the roading work we carry out provides maximum possible benefits to the community.”
This initial review on reconstruction and resealing will be carried out over July and August.
Transport Agency planning and investment manager Robert Brodnax said the agency has strong support for RATA: “This collaborative approach is not only ground-breaking nationally, but we can see huge potential to make significant cost savings - which both local ratepayers and the wider public will benefit from.”
Future projects include looking at having LED street lighting in the region. This is being encouraged by the Transport Agency due to its significant energy and maintenance cost savings. It is felt regional procurement of LED lighting could be sensible to gain economies of scale and consistency of approach.
How unsealed roads are managed and the potential impacts of traffic management scenarios are also due to be looked at.
Mr Tregidga thanked the Transport Agency for its support with the projects. “It’s fantastic that the various strands of our work are being assisted by the Transport Agency as they clearly see the value of greater efficiencies. It’s a great example of partnership between central and local government and reflects the Waikato forum’s commitment to working with others for the Waikato’s benefit.”