Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Job That Never Ends; Roadtek Gang Works Tirelessly to Maintain Road Surfaces

Newspaper article Daily News (Warwick, Australia)

Job That Never Ends; Roadtek Gang Works Tirelessly to Maintain Road Surfaces

Article excerpt

Byline: TONI SOMES

THEY are a gang: armed with shovels, decked out in their acoloursa with eyes hidden behind dark glasses and a code of conduct that belongs on the highway.

Yet we love the war they wage on our roads.

Meet the Warwick-based Department of Transport and Main Roads maintenance crew or the Roadtek gang.

This week the crew a once we'd passed through the compulsory initiation ceremony (otherwise known as site and safety inductions) a opened their world to the Daily News.

At the helm is Roadtek project co-ordinator Mark Butler, a 20-year-veteran of road repair.

Born and bred in the Rose City, Mr Butler travels 1000km a week a or 74,000km annually a overseeing action on the national highways and state roads, which fall within Warwick Main Roads territory.

He knows too well the rush of hot air that comes when a prime mover passes within 1.2m of a work site.

Incidentally 1.2m is the minimal acceptable separation between fluoro-vested workers and highway traffic.

"Working on the roads is a high-risk job," Mr Butler said.

"We have strict guidelines and protocols to ensure our crews' safety, but we can never emphasise too much the need for motorists to take care and slow down near road work."

His crews maintain 596km of bitumen across the Southern Downs, plus another 775km in the Goondiwindi Regional Council area.

This year a wetter-than-usual spring has put extra pressure on the gangs as rising moisture levels affect road surfaces.

"The conditions have had a negative impact on the road surfaces, with increased pot holes across the region," Mr Butler explained.

But he said during the past two decades improvements in things like gravel quality had helped make road repairs more effective.

"However we need to take into consideration that in the past 20 years traffic on the highways through Warwick has doubled," Mr Butler said. …

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