Renewing road networks will deliver quick benefits to communities affected by bushfires and the Covid-19 tourism downturn, according to WSP.
Peter Todd, a strategic asset management advisor for the multinational engineering services firm said: “This critical period offers state and national leaders a great opportunity to invest in important road transport assets – for long-term benefits to transport networks and for the immediate positive economic impact it will deliver to communities.
“When renewing road infrastructure assets, the focus needs to be on strengthening road pavements to carry greater traffic loads, renewing ageing bridges to improve large freight vehicle access, revitalising road assets (signs, barriers and noise walls) for better travel experience, and improving road surfaces for greater safety.
“We also need to consider:
- Rebuilding bushfire-affected road assets;
- Incorporating more recycling when renewing assets; and
- Impacts of climate change so our road networks are future-ready.”
Mr Todd said: “These projects need little statutory planning or approval; they rarely need to acquire land, and design is generally straightforward. Works can also be delivered right across the country, including in regional areas, spreading the stimulus impact across metropolitan and rural areas.
“We could also invest in some extra low cost/high impact projects including:
- Renewing and strengthening bridges and structures to provide seamless freight access to ports and markets;
- Upgrading road signs to support the tourism industry and local communities;
- Adding a program of road seal widening to improve safety; and
- Adding a program of intersection upgrades to improve access and safety for people, industry, and business.”