Major highway upgrade

By Chris Thomson | posted on December 6, 2018

A ONCE-in-a-generation fix to a 1.2km stretch of Albany Highway notorious for pumpkin-sized potholes will be complete by April, says Mayor of Albany Dennis Wellington.

“What we want to do, very similar to Middleton Road, is do it up in such a way that it’s a good surface,” Mr Wellington said of the looming roadworks on both sides of the highway between Barker Road and Macedon Street.

“We’re trying to do that on the major arteries.

“I think Sanford Road is next year, because that’s in a pretty bad state as well at the moment.”

Mr Wellington said the City of Albany spent about $3 million-a-year maintaining roads, and the highway upgrade would cost about $1.6 million – or $800,000 for each side of the city’s main thoroughfare.

“Albany Highway from the roundabout through here is a local road and it’s in a bad way,” he said.

“It gets a lot of traffic, so it needs to be upgraded, and that’s our major project for this year.

“Certainly it will be the same standard as Middleton Road, because with the traffic it gets it’s got to be done properly and you try to do it for a 40 to a 50-year period.”

During the October 2017 local government elections, amid a particularly stormy spring, Albany’s humble but vexatious assortment of potholes became an election issue.

Mr Wellington said Albany’s wet winters meant it was necessary to conduct roadworks in the warmer months.

“It will get done when a lot of people are around, so some of the other roads will get used, obviously,” he acknowledged.

“We’ll keep one side of it open and do the other.”

Pavement repairs and patching have already been completed in preparation for the works. The existing surface will now be removed using a large profiling machine before a bitumen seal is placed.

This will be followed by two layers of asphalt. Also on the cards are new sections of kerbing, drainage pits and grates.

Works will start on the outside southbound lane in early January, with closures likely from January 7 to 18.

From there, the outside northbound lane will see closures between January 21 and 31.

The City will confirm further closures by January 15, with work extending through to late March.

Various side roads will be closed on and off during construction.

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Photo: Dennis Wellington near where the roadworks will commence. Photo: Chris Thomson