Australia has 537 local governments, all with unique challenges. Councils face many issues concerning maintenance, roads, bridges and culverts – critical infrastructure essential to keeping communities running smoothly. Council Magazine spoke to Tom Bailey, Infrastructure Manager at Mainmark, about the maintenance changes and trends he’s seen over decades working for a trusted partner of Australian councils.
One of the most significant responsibilities for councils around Australia – especially as extreme weather becomes more commonplace – is the proactive management of essential assets like roads, bridges and culverts.
This management must be undertaken with sustainability and the surrounding community and wildlife in mind, prioritising non-invasive solutions.
Ground engineering and asset preservation specialist, Mainmark, has been a trusted partner and support for Australian councils for almost 30 years, providing innovative low-impact solutions for asset rehabilitation instead of replacement – reducing costs and use of resources.
Mainmark’s Infrastructure Manager, Tom Bailey, has travelled around Australia for 27 years, working with the company since its inception and providing solutions to complex geotechnical issues alongside engineers and major stakeholders.
Across this time, Mr Bailey has observed the many changes councils have undergone and the sector’s evolving needs. “We work with councils on a regular, continuous basis and help all councils who own bridges, culverts and main roads,” Mr Bailey said.
A fast and cost-effective solution
Mainmark uses the state-of-the-art engineered resin solution, Teretek®, to remediate assets with minimal disruption to the surrounding community and environment – proactively fortifying assets for future conditions.
Teretek® is a non-invasive technology that provides void filling, re-levelling and ground improvement solutions that remedy many challenges councils face. Teretek® delivers fast results due to its resin components that combine and trigger an irreversible reaction once injected into the ground.
Mainmark’s technologies are particularly well suited for the repair of sunken roadways (both concrete and asphalt) that reinstate smooth and safe rides for communities.
One of the main benefits of this technology is its ability to restore serviceability quickly and economically to an asset, compared to expensive and invasive traditional removal and replacement alternatives.
“We can remediate these assets in a fraction of the time, for a fraction of the cost, with a fraction of the carbon footprint,” Mr Bailey said. Mr Bailey explains that over the years, he has seen an increase in the use of Mainmark’s services for the remediation of infrastructure assets.
“We solve a broad range of challenges for Councils, including the raising and re-levelling of bridge relieving slabs, roadway surfaces, and buildings in general,”Mr Bailey said. Raising buildings can refer to remediating heritage-listed buildings, new buildings that aren’t built properly, or repairing building foundations affected by subsidence.
- Void filing, re-levelling and ground improvement
- Minimal operational interruption, road closures and excavation
- Accurate and controllable
- Fast – immediately trafficable
- Light weight (less than 200 kg/M3)
- Environmentally inert
- Closed cell
Preparing for a changing world
Australia’s climate, population and infrastructure has changed a lot in the past quarter-century, and the needs and responsibilities of councils are no different.
The effects of extreme weather and flooding – unfortunately becoming commonplace for Australian councils – can also significantly damage building foundations and other critical assets such as roads and culverts.
For Mr Bailey and the Mainmark team, this means tailoring their services to the evolving situation – helping councils not just to remediate the present issues caused by flooding but ensuring the assets are stronger and prepared for the next weather event.
“We have seen a significant increase in the number of roads, bridges and culvert issues due to the recent heavy rains and floods,” Mr Bailey said. Recently, Mainmark completed an entire section of roadway remediation for a New South Wales Council, following an extreme rainfall event that exacerbated the rate of deterioration for a 200m long section of roadway.
This rainfall resulted in the differential settlement of the pavement slabs and considerable movement along construction joints. The Council contacted Mainmark for help, with the team reaching the region and delivering the works within the local government’s requested time frame and budget.
In just one night, the Mainmark team injected beneath the affected roadway slabs to reconfirm support and re-align the sunken slabs – to halt further deterioration. The community was minimally inconvenienced as the works were completed so quickly and at night.