Home | | Site Map | Contact Council |
Information about the work of  Orange City Council, located in the Central West of NSW

How long do roads last?

When to maintain and when to renew?

Orange City Council engineers inspect all of the Road network segments regularly.

For effective management, engineers divide sections of Orange’s road network into ‘segments’. A road segment is a section of road that runs from one intersection to another.

Every segment in Orange’s 358 kms of sealed roads is inspected and assessed every 2 years. Orange City Council also welcomes information from residents who have noticed pot holes or damaged roads.

Inspections look at the degree of patching, the amount of cracking, roughness and shape.

The segments are rated on a scale of best to worst, using a 1 to 5 scale.
A pavement and surface is generally renewed when the condition level reaches approximately 3.5.

Orange City Council’s aim is to maintain our roads with ‘repairs’ throughout their life until their condition falls below condition 3 when they are scheduled for ‘renewal’.

How long do roads in Orange last?

Records of inspections and repairs collected since 1992, give Orange City Council staff the facts on how long local roads are lasting.

It is currently estimated that the average life span of a Road Pavement is approximately 39 years

The average life span of a sprayed seal surface is 13 years

The average life span of an asphalt surface is 26 years.

This means, on average, once a road pavement is built, it should last long enough for and two subsequent re-seals with a sprayed surface before it is ready for renewal.

0-13 Years  13-26 Years 26-39 Years
Initial Seal  Re-seal Last Re-seal
Overall Average Pavement Life 39 Years

Alternatively if a pavement is initially overlaid with asphalt, it will only have to be re-sealed once before the pavement has to be re-built.

0-26 Years 26-39 Years
New Asphalt Surface  Re-seal
Overall Average Pavement Life 39 Years

Asphalt or Sprayed Seal ?

Sprayed seal surfacing is a relatively quick process enabling large areas of pavement to be renewed in a short period of time. This is the most common surface applied to suburban streets in Orange.

Asphalt overlays use up a considerable amount of more material and require more equipment and time to lay than sprayed seals, but offer a superior level of service with a much smoother ride.

Treatment Cost Life Cost / Year
 Bitumen Reseal  $4.50/metre  2 - 13 years $0.35 / sq. metre / year
40mm Asphalt Overlay  $24/metre 2 - 26 years  $0.92 / sq. metre / year

Hot mix equipment ... Single-click to see larger imageThese figures suggest asphalt or ‘Hot-mix’ costs five times as much initially, but is only around two and a half times as expensive as a bitumen reseal, when its much longer life is factored in. As mentioned above, hot-mix provides a much higher level of service due to the superior ride quality, reduced traffic noise and less ongoing maintenance.

Hot-mix surfaces have generally been used on high traffic roads in Orange, in particular around the main shopping area as well key arterial roads leading out from the centre of Orange.