22 September 2023

Stuck in a rut, Wagga City Council looks to new machine to tackle deepening pothole problem

| Jarryd Rowley
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Rain-soaked potholes on a street

Wagga Wagga Council has passed a motion to accept a report on a new pothole machine in the hope of finding a more effective way of repairing the city’s worst roads. Photo: Supplied.

Wagga Wagga City Council has agreed to receive a report detailing the performance and effectiveness of a new pothole repair machine to better address the increasing number of damaged roads.

The council will assess the new JCB Pothole Pro’s sustainability and compare it with the existing machine.

The vote to accept the report during Monday night’s (18 September) council meeting will also set a process in place to allow council workers to potentially trial the new machine.

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Councillor Richard Foley said a majority of councillors elected in 2021 had been voted in based on their ability to tackle the city’s roads and pothole crisis.

“The pothole issue has been an ever-growing issue. Despite all of our best efforts and all of the weather, it has been very difficult to get on top of,” Cr Foley said.

“I’ve been calling for this technology, for if we can get it trialled at the very least to get a measure of it [the JCB Pothole Pro].

“I’ve spoken to people from all around the world about this technology, in England and the United States. It has very many applications not just for freeway pavements, but it can also be used in regional and rural settings.”

Cr Foley said he would like to see neighbouring councils invited to witness the trial and potentially offset the cost of purchasing the machine.

“I think the machine is something to get behind to see if it can assist our workforce, who are under a lot of stress to get out there and get things done,” he said.

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Councillors are optimistic that the new machine will be able to complete roadworks up to three times faster and more sustainably than the one currently in use.

The JCB Pothole Pro is a wheeled excavator with a permanent profiler machine, a bucket and a sweeper attachment, compared to the two smaller skid steer loaders, with separate profiler attachments, currently being used by the council.

The council voted unanimously to accept the report, which should be completed by the new year. If the council is convinced by the feedback, it will look for a cost-effective way to buy the machine in the new year.

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