Inspire : Public Works Jan Feb 2013
48 Public Works Professional February 2013 KNOWLEDGE CENTRE ASK YOUR MATES THE HOT TOPICS OF DISCUSSION ON THE IPWEA ONLINE FORUMS. JOIN THE DISCUSSION NOW AT www.ipwea.org.au/askyourmates ALSO UP FOR DISCUSSION • Accounting for unsealed road pavements • Rural property signage • Optimised decision making • Roughness meters # MAINTENANCE GRADING COMPARISONS GARY WOODMAN, GENERAL MANAGER, COBAR SHIRE COUNCIL, ASKS: Has anybody undertaken any studies, investigations or papers on the following? • A comparison of the methods of maintenance grading (quality, costs, sustainability, etc) • A comparison of using watercart (making your own rain) versus no watercart (chasing moisture after rain) • A comparison of maintenance grading by day labour versus contract. GRANT BAKER, DIRECTOR ENGINEERING, BLAYNEY SHIRE COUNCIL, SAYS: Blayney Shire Council attended a workshop r un by Unsealedroads. com and organised by Centroc on maintenance grading models, ser vice levels, condition assessment, and optimising moisture and compaction last year. Since taking on their advice, the roads that have been addressed have provided greater life, prior to next grade. The program also allows you to customise the model with your budgets. This system of management has helped underpin our program. COSTS AND EFFICIENCY OF MAINTENANCE ALAN KERR, MANAGER CIVIL ENGINEERING, INVERELL SHIRE COUNCIL, ASKS: I am currently attempting to benchmark council's maintenance costs against other councils and organisations. However, I am having some diffculty in fnding relevant information. My area of concern is comparing actual maintenance costs across a variety of tasks, such as grading, slashing, resheeting, resealing etc. I know there is some good information available in the Road Asset Benchmarking Project 2010. However, this info does not actually suit due to the way it is calculated. For example, the maintenance grading costs are given as a rate of dollars per kilometre per annum. There is no information given as to how many times per annum they were actually graded. That is, most of the data is based simply on the total expenditure for the year and the total unsealed road length. This gives no indication as to how much per unit it actually costs to undertake the task. Nor can it be derived, because there is no data available as to how much in total length was actually undertaken. The information I am after is simply how much it costs, for example, per kilometre or square metre to actually undertake the task. It costs our council $500 per kilometre to dry grade based on a six-metre width in granite country. What does it cost yours? STUART SMALL PROJECTS CONTRACTS ENGINEER, GREAT LAKES COUNCIL, SAYS: It is always very diffcult to compare apples with apples when benchmarking costs. It may be more reasonable to start with benchmarking productivity. For example, how many square metres or kilometres of gravel road can be maintenance graded in a day? You could also consider how many man hours it takes to maintenance grade a kilometre of road. Each council has its own local market where plant, labour and material costs will vary and thus causes problems in benchmarking.
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