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Guy HandDecember 7, 20222 min read

ACT Government moves to new strategic road maintenance program

The ACT Government will significantly increase road maintenance funding to $153 million over the next four years in a new strategic maintenance program to repair and preserve Canberra’s roads for a generation.

The program has been developed based on research undertaken by the Australian Road Research Board (ARRB) to support a new, strategic approach to maintenance, improving safety, supporting freight movements and improving the city’s liveability.

This research-led approach aims to extend the life of Canberra’s existing high-quality roads through proactive resealing, while undertaking more rehabilitation work including using an up to 150% increase in asphalting.

“Our new road maintenance program represents an 52% increase in expenditure on road maintenance to deliver the good road conditions that Canberra drivers expect,” said Minister for Transport and City Services Chris Steel.

“This maintenance program is evidence-based and will have a greater focus road rehabilitation and use of asphalt, as well as ensuring that we continue our focus on preventative resealing.

“With the annual road resurfacing program now underway, this new maintenance program will extend the life of Canberra’s roads by 20 years through additional resealing measures adopted across our rolling roads program. And investing now will reduce road maintenance costs in the long term.”

Increased investment in the ACT's annual road maintenance program now will see resurfacing of the network grow by 268,000 square metres a year to cover an area of over 1.26 million square metres resurfaced per year going forward, concentrating on arterial and collector roads.

Minister Steel said the changing climate, heavier vehicles, and greater than anticipated ACT population growth had accelerated road degradation and the likelihood of defects such as potholes.

“It’s no secret that roads across south-eastern Australia have taken an absolute battering over the past few years with constant La Nina weather cycles,” said Minister Steel.

“Since 2020, Canberra has continued to experience heavy and frequent rain events. In October, we experienced Canberra’s wettest month since records began, with more than 2,800 pothole repairs undertaken across the Territory in that month alone.

“This long-term program will see smoother, more resilient roads, that result in safer travel and better driveability, meaning Canberra drivers will save on fuel and vehicle maintenance,” said Minister Steel.

The new funding includes funding under the Australian Government’s Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program.

“Our research looked at the condition of the ACT’s roads, and the investment and treatments required to ensure that they are well-maintained over the coming decades," ARRB chief executive officer Michael Caltabiano said.

“Based on our research, the ACT Government has chosen the highest cost and highest quality option which will deliver good road conditions in Canberra over the years ahead.”

For more information on the current road resurfacing program, including the daily program and which roads are being resurfaced, visit

ARRB CEO Michael Caltabiano was interviewed about the step-change in ACT road maintenance on Radio 2CC.

Listen below: