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.
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.
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.
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.
These 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.