Cameras to put focus on road conditions

Thursday 24 September, 2020

If you see a white van covered in cameras driving around the Tamworth region over the next four weeks, there’s no need to be suspicious.

It’s simply involved in survey of road conditions being undertaken to help Tamworth Regional Council more effectively plan maintenance of the region’s 1600 kilometres of sealed roads.

Tamworth Regional Council Manager Engineering Services Graeme McKenzie said the specially equipped vehicles will survey all sealed roads across the region.

“The vehicle uses high accuracy lasers and cameras to measure the condition of roads - down to minute details,” he said. 

“This information gives us a general picture of the state of our road network, identifies problem areas, and will be used to model the time it take for deterioration to occur so that Council can optimise how and when to maintain each road.”

Mr McKenzie said using contractors with vehicles equipped with the special technology allows the roads to be surveyed much faster and more accurately visual inspections only using the human eye.

“The vehicle will measure and photograph defects such as cracking and potholes as well as roughness and texture,” he said. “Video is taken for further review.”

The survey vehicle will be in the region for about four weeks. It will then take several weeks to assess the data collected. Council staff will use the findings of the survey to develop the 2021-22 Capital Works Program.

Mr McKenzie said local drivers are asked to keep their distance from the survey vehicle.

“I’m sure people will notice this unusual vehicle being driven around and we ask drivers to keep a car length away in order to give the rear cameras a clear view of the road surface,” he said.

Mr McKenzie said all cameras are focused on the road and kerb surface structure. He said no image recordings will be taken of privately owned commercial or residential properties or structures.

The Sealed Roads Condition Assessment Survey 2020 project aims to improve Council’s asset management planning and maintenance operations to deliver the community’s vision of an accessible region with a safe and efficient transport network. 

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