Fixing Sydney’s pothole crisis to cost millions, and councils can’t afford it

“The NSW Government must recognize and accept that local councils in metropolitan Sydney are struggling to keep up with the deteriorating condition of our roads due to the unpredictable and inclement weather,” El-Hayek said.


The council this year piloted the use of recycled glass in the road surface in an effort to reduce future incidences of potholes.

It has also participated in a $2.9 million Transport for NSW trial of AI technology to detect road vulnerabilities, placing cameras under garbage trucks and buses to create heat maps of streets.

The technology is gradually being rolled out across all Sydney boroughs.

A spokesperson for Transport for NSW said councils were responsible for 90 percent of the state’s road network, but it was “working closely” with councils on repairs, having made $25 million available this year to flood-affected municipalities in Greater Sydney.

Labor spokesman for roads John Graham said it was good that the state government was investing in future solutions for dealing with potholes, but that the gaps ultimately needed to be filled as soon as possible.

“We can do both. We can ask some questions about whether there’s a better way to do this in the long run, but there’s also an urgent problem,” he said.

“There is a lot of damage to roads and wheels as a result, and it will only get worse as people travel over Christmas.”

Local government NSW declared a road emergency in November, estimating $2.5 billion worth of road repairs needed on the state’s roads, including $800 million on metropolitan streets.

The organization’s president, Darriea Turley, said municipalities needed not only money, but also manpower, and criticized the state government for limiting its funds for an additional 200 workers for repairs in the Murrumbidgee and Central West regions.


“Council members want to make sure the road network is safe, but they fix the potholes and the rain comes down and washes it away,” she said.

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