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ourballarat magazine winter 2022
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Repairing our residential roads | ourballarat winter 2022

As winter weather leads to more potholes on our roads, the City of Ballarat is preparing to ramp up repairs to keep our residential roads safe for our community.

: City of Ballarat Executive Manager Operations Luke Ives and Road Maintenance Contract Supervisor Paul Humphrey oversee major patching works to a section of damaged road on Wendouree Parade

The City of Ballarat is responsible for more than 1,200 kilometres of sealed residential roads across our municipality, including repairing potholes, maintaining roads and delivering road upgrades.

Not all roads are the responsibility of the City of Ballarat. Freeways and major arterial roads, such as Sturt Street, Main Road, Creswick Road, Latrobe Street, Howitt Street, Norman Street, Midland Highway, Albert Street, Skipton Street, Remembrance Drive, Wiltshire Lane and others are the responsibility of VicRoads.

These roads can be found through searching ‘Maps of declared roads’ at vicroads.vic.gov.au

How we repair our roads

As our roads age, traffic increases and wet weather damages our road network, more work is required to keep our roads at a high standard.

The City of Ballarat is investing more than ever to maintain our roads. The City of Ballarat’s 2021-2022 budget delivered a major investment of $1.4 million, up from $500,000, in asphalting and stabilisation patching road works across the city.

The City of Ballarat’s re-seal program also increased from $1.4 million to $2 million.

City of Ballarat Executive Manager Operations Luke Ives says the organisation and Council understands the community’s frustration at the city’s damaged road network.

“Our Sealed Roads team worked on repairing as many of our roads as possible throughout the dry weather earlier this year,” he says.

“Unfortunately, wet weather leads to more potholes. Filling potholes with asphalt and gravel is a temporary solution in winter to make the roads safe for motorists.

“When we have dry weather later this year, we will carry out major patching to repair many of these roads.”

How potholes form

Heavy traffic and natural ageing causes cracks in the surface or underlying pavement. Rainwater seeps through these cracks into the base material beneath.

The vibration of traffic causes the wet base material to settle or shift, forming a cavity. Without base support, the pavement weakens further and ultimately caves in, causing a pothole.

Repairing potholes

Potholes are filled with a mixture of asphalt and gravel and are repaired as a temporary solution in the winter to improve road safety.

Potholes are also repaired as a temporary solution until the road is prioritised for major patching works

Major patching

Major patching is used to repair multiple potholes and failures in the road surface and underlying pavement.

A larger section of road is removed and both the surface and pavement are replaced. These works require dry weather and are often carried out in summer.

The Sealed Roads team assesses the urgency of maintenance and prioritise works. Each year, major patching is carried out on about 150 roads across the municipality

Re-sealing roads

Re-sealing is a proactive road maintenance program that works to prevent potholes and small cracks starting to form in the road seal.

The re-seal program sprays bitumen on to the road surface, providing a new waterproof barrier. Road sealing is carried out every 10 to 15 years to extend the life of our roads.

Each year, the City of Ballarat re-seals about 200 roads across the municipality.

Roads renewal

This is the full reconstruction of a road when roads are at the end of their useful life.

The tell tail signs of a failing road include wheel lane rutting, potholes and edge breaks.

A geotechnical investigation of the old road pavement determines the strength of the road and informs the new design.

Old roads are reconstructed to new standards, usually with a thicker pavement and wider traffic lanes.

The shoulders of the roads are also constructed and sealed to prevent edge cracking and provide laneways for cyclists.

How you can keep our roads safe

To request repairs to a City of Ballarat Road, visit forms.ballarat.vic.gov.au/ReportIssue or call Customer Service on 5320 5500

City of Ballarat Council Plan Alignment

The projects, initiatives, and ideas in this article align with the following goals of the City of Ballarat Council Plan 2021-2025:

Goal 4
A city that conserves and enhances our natural and built assets

Kicking goals in literacy | ourballarat winter 2022

The Bulldogs Read literacy program is encouraging primary school students to participate in reading and writing workshops, activities and events in partnership with the Western Bulldogs and City of Ballarat Libraries. Now in its seventh year, the program is kick-starting a love of literacy in Ballarat children.

Canadian Lead Primary School students with Bulldogs flags

It's footy season. For some children, that means kicking the football, playing football and watching football.

For others, it’s all this and much more – especially reading and writing. Each year students, spanning grades three to five, from several schools across Ballarat are encouraged to pick up books, read them, write reviews and share their reviews with others online.

Participants also have the opportunity to meet the players, attend football clinics and author talks, explore the Ballarat Library and attend Western Bulldogs matches.

The program is one of the cornerstones of the City of Ballarat’s ongoing partnership with the Western Bulldogs.

More than a game

City of Ballarat Children’s and Youth Librarian Julie Bull helped create the Bulldogs Read program.

Julie says this year's program features about 80 students from Canadian Lead Primary School, Yuille Park Community College, St Columba’s School Ballarat and Ballarat Grammar.

“As a Children’s Librarian, I am absolutely passionate about children’s literacy,” she says.

“If you can encourage children on a good path early on with their literacy, you’re setting them up to be life-long learners."

Julie says there are no rules limiting what the students can read.

“They read what they feel comfortable with. The program provides them with a real–life immersion of literacy – it's reading and writing for a reason and their reviews are being published on the Bulldogs Read website.

“We once had Australian author Mem Fox see a student’s review for one of her books. She reached out and ended up sending an autographed book to that child to thank them for writing such a lovely review.

“The rapport that we have with the schools and teachers is fantastic. The Western Bulldogs players also take time out to support the children and read their reviews – they really want the kids to do well.”

Western Bulldogs Ballarat Engagement Manager Campbell Waring agrees.

"The Western Bulldogs are really proud to be involved in this unique program in Ballarat and hopefully, with the engagement of our activities and events for the students to attend, it assists in students’ reading and writing capabilities.”

Discovering libraries

The program also encourages children and their families to discover and explore all that our libraries have to offer.

“The students join the library, they’ll be able to borrow and are shown how to use the catalogue so that they can then order books for themselves at home or at school,” Julie says.

“For some students, it’s the first time anyone in their family has ever been to the library so the child is leading the way.

“We have also had students whose parents and grandparents have started reading because their child participated in the program.”

Red, white and blue

Late last year, the City of Ballarat signed a three-year partnership extension with the Western Bulldogs and the State Government.

The partnership will see two Toyota AFL Premiership Season matches played at MARS Stadium each season until the end of 2024.

The City of Ballarat also entered into a separate funding deal to secure an annual NAB AFL Women’s home and away season match.

Along with Bulldogs Read, the partnership also includes community programs such as the holistic women’s health program Daughters of the West, men’s health program Sons of the West and a youth leadership project.

City of Ballarat Council Plan Alignment

The projects, initiatives, and ideas in this article align with the following goals of the City of Ballarat Council Plan 2021-2025:

Goal 2
A healthy, connected and inclusive community

Goal 6
A Council that provides leadership and advocates for its community