Council road crews come up with merger benefits

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Council road worksMidCoast Council road crews are a creative bunch when it comes to problem solving and have proved the new Council is 'better together' over this summer, with the sharing of equipment allowing road repairs to be fast tracked in Gloucester and specialist equipment used to improve Forster's Bullring Ocean Baths.Gloucester's jet patcher (which for those who are not roadworks-savvy, is an automated bitumen pothole patcher, which can also lay bitumen and stone topping in one action for larger potholes) had broken down late last year, and, facing a delay for repairs, the road repair program was getting behind schedule.

Fortunately, Taree had a jet patcher to spare that was about to be sold.  Transferring the Jet Master to Gloucester, Taree operator Jeff Aquilina travelled to Gloucester each day to operate the unit.

"When our Jet Master was back on the road, we then used both units for a few weeks to catch up some potholing works around the Gloucester region" said Council's Works Engineer, Claire Shultz.

"The road program is now back on track.  One of the benefits of being a bigger Council is being able to deliver on services to our residents by sharing our resources" said Council's Manager of Operations, Dan Park.

Gloucester work crews were able to pay back the favour a couple of weeks ago, loaning their D6 Dozer to the Forster crew to clean out the sand from Forster's Bullring Ocean Baths, a job made much easier with the larger earthmover.

And it's not the first time that sharing equipment across the region has allowed jobs to be completed on time.  "We also were able to use Forster's reach mower and slasher when ours was down" said Claire Shultz.

The crews are keeping busy, with more plans to share plant equipment and personnel to enable efficient works across the MidCoast.

Economies of scale:  MidCoast Council was able to deploy another jet patcher to keep Gloucester's roads works on schedule this summer, after Gloucester's machine broke down.

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