Today Congarinni Road South, just west of Macksville, was the first dirt road in the Nambucca Shire to trial the Otta-Seal surface treatment. Nambucca Shire Council is trialling the new gravel road sealing product in the hopes of reducing road maintenance costs and helping the environment.
Private enterprise, All Pavement Solutions director Craig Murphy was on site to oversee the operations and was excited to help showcase the technique.
"We have entered a partnership with the Nambucca Shire Council to upgrade unsealed roads in this area," he said.
"As far as I'm aware, this is the first instance of the Otta-Seal surface treatment being used in the Nambucca Valley.
"The goal is to provide a better road for residents, eliminate dust and be more affordable than the continual process of grading and re-sheeting dirt roads for the council, allowing those funds to spent elsewhere."
Nambucca Shire Mayor Rhonda Hoban and Nambucca Shire Council Assistant General Manager - Engineering Services Paul Gallagher were both present to witness the 2.5-kilometre trial and have plans to monitor the stretch of road for at least a year to determine the performance under weather and traffic conditions.
"While this is just a trial and we don't yet know if Otta-Seal will suit the valley's roads, I am buoyed by the success this and similar products have had overseas, and I believe it is worth doing anything we can to try and reduce the impacts from dust on our rural residents," Cr Hoban said.
"Council maintains 348 kilometres of unsealed gravel roads across the shire, and the cost to grade and re-sheet the road with gravel is significant.
"The other benefit of Otta-Seal is that it is quite an environmentally-friendly; the aggregate component used is non-specified quarry products, which would ordinarily be discarded. "
Otta-Seal has seen widespread use overseas and has already been trialled in several regions around Australia, including Bellingen.
Congarinni Road South now has a 40 kilometre per hour speed limit in effect for the next six to eight weeks while the pavement surface strengthens. Residents are asked to adhere to the road signage and take care when travelling as there will be loose aggregate.