The challenges of working with locally sourced, non-standard materials to build and maintain regional and remote roads is the key focus of an event in Cairns.
Up to 140 delegates are expected to attend the Northern Roads Symposium, June 11-13.
It is being run by the Queensland branch of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australiasia (IPWEAQ).
“Over the years, practitioners have built up a knowledge and skills base of what works best utilising locally sourced materials,” IPWEAQ director professional services Craig Moss said.
“However, in recent times the knowledge base has been slowly eroded through the natural attrition of our experienced workforce at a time when the demand on our network is growing.
“This event will provide delegates with the opportunity to learn from experienced technical experts and network with others who are facing the same challenges.”
A good knowledge of non-standard materials is particularly important in the North.
“Generally, the standards and specifications for the construction and maintenance of our roads are based on using materials sourced from a commercial quarry,” Mr Moss said.
“In many of our rural and remote areas, this is logistically and financially unviable due to haulage distances.
“This results in having to find locally available materials that can be used to meet the expected level of service for our roads network.”
These materials were inconsistent in nature and behaved differently to standard materials, especially when exposed to water, he said.
“Our workforce need to understand how to use the materials at hand to build roads that are durable, taking into account factors including the type and volume of traffic, moisture (rainfall) and temperature,” Mr Moss said.
“Without this knowledge the road pavements are likely to fail or have a reduced practical life.”
For more information on the Northern Roads Symposium, or to register, click HERE.