Council maintains a road network that is 1,538km in length—370km of which is sealed and 1,168km unsealed.
Council is the roads authority for all public roads within the Coonamble Local Government Area, except for any freeway, Crown public road, or any public road declared to be under the control of some other authority.
Unsealed road closures
Many unsealed roads of the area have a sand base on which a hard, dry ‘sheet’ or ‘skin’ of topsoil is formed.
During wet weather, the integrity of this ‘sheet’ can be easily broken by the weight of a vehicle, leading to extensive and deep channelling caused by tyres. For this reason, unsealed roads across the Local Government Area are closed to traffic to after a significant rain event.
Advisory signs have been placed at the start of unsealed roads where they join the sealed road network to advise of closure during wet weather, and notices are placed on Council’s website and Facebook page and broadcast through the local media. Click here for current road conditions.
In addition, away from the Warrumbungles, land is virtually flat so rainwater pools until absorbed by the soil. During periods of extensive rain, when soils are saturated, the sandy base of unsealed roads become boggy and impassable to vehicles.
Causeways along unsealed roads can also remain underwater for some time after a rain event, and all drivers should approach them with caution.
The cost of road maintenance
The average cost to carry out maintenance grading on an unsealed road is about $5,000/km, while reforming and resheeting (the processes of filling in wheel channels and then mixing topsoil with the sand to prepare the hardened surface ‘sheet’ or ‘skin’) can cost up to $30,000/km.
During periods of rainfall, primary producers are kindly requested to reschedule the movement of heavy vehicles until the unsealed sections of the route between their properties and the sealed road network has thoroughly dried out.
Users of unsealed roads, during closures, are reminded that:
- They may be liable for any damage that they cause to the road that is closed to their vehicle type, and they may void their own vehicle insurance.
- Travelling on roads covered with water is extremely dangerous and should be avoided.
- Road conditions can change without warning and, if roads are open, drivers should travel with caution.
- Unsealed roads damage very easily when they are wet.
- Repairs to damaged roads are not usually possible until the roads and gravel stockpiles begin to dry out.
- Council prioritises repairs, with higher trafficked roads usually receiving attention first.
- Emergency vehicles are exempt from road closure directives, in the course of responding to legitimate emergencies.
Please drive with caution on our roads
Sealed roads within the Coonamble Local Government Area also present hazards, including:
- Kangaroos jumping across roads.
- Emus darting across roads, then doubling back in front of your vehicle in panic.
- Hares and rabbits.
- Cockatoos and galahs eating spilled grain on the side of roads.
- Apostle birds and choughs foraging on road verges.
- Road trains – especially during harvest (October to December).
- Water across roads and in floodways during and after a rain event.
Road users are requested to drive to conditions and to anticipate any of the above hazards during their travels.
Report road damage and hazards
Primary producers of the Coonamble area feed NSW, Australia and the world with their beef and grain. The movement of these commodities to markets can cause road damage, particularly during harvest, when there is intensive use of the road network.
If you wish to report a road hazard, please click here, complete and submit the form. In addition, if a “picture paints a thousand words,” please photograph the hazard and email to firstname.lastname@example.org, mentioning the location details and your contact phone number.
Please do not complete the form or send an email while driving.