DRIVING around Mornington Peninsula roads these days is a bit like playing dodgems with potholes, but there is a lot more to maintaining roads than many drivers would realise.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Council’s infrastructure services manager Tom Haines-Sutherland said wet weather over the past 12 months had seen the number of council road repairs increase by almost 1000.
The shire looks after about 3800 roads with a total length of 1700 kilometres. Freeway and arterial roads are maintained by the state government.
Haines-Sutherland said there was a clear link between potholes and wet weather, with water seeping into the road through a small hole in the asphalt and potholes forming as cars drive over the weakened spot.
But it’s not the impact of rain on the “black stuff” on top that is of most concern, it is the impact on the base levels of the road.
“There has been a significant increase in the number of potholes we’ve had to repair this year,” Haines-Sutherland said.
“In 2020-21, our contractors repaired over 3900 potholes. In 2021-22, we repaired more than 4700 potholes.”
Repairs can also be delayed by wet weather, as roads then have to be completely dry before a pothole can be permanently repaired.
Haines-Sutherland said the growing population, increased visitor numbers and lots of rainfall had combined to make this a particularly bad year for potholes.