Changes to VicRoads Specifications 831 – A Contractors Perspective

By on May 1, 2014

From Craig James and Mark Wagner

A DRAFT specification for changes to Vic Roads 831 specification was created in 2010.

In March 2011 a second draft was issued. After discussions over the next 12 months the final draft document was sent to all parties in May 2012. The document was released in July 2012. Essentially the new specification has been in place for 15 months.

Early last year the CMPA requested meetings with VicRoads personnel due to concerns regarding:

  • Sealing agg production after the adoption of alterations to specifications introduced prior to the 2012/13 season.
  • Production difficulties associated with the changes.
  • Consequences of sealing aggregate shortages for VicRoads, local government and road building contractors in 2012/13 season.
  • Cost of production consequences that are inevitable adhering to the new specifications.
  • The role out of sealing aggregates orders and improvements that could be made in the 2013/14 season.
  • Stack site conditions and consequential road safety and OH&S issues.

Subsequent meetings and correspondence confirmed that VicRoads were adamant the changes should remain and production should continue under the new specification.

Essentially CMPA members have for the most part “rolled up their sleeves” and made the changes necessary to comply.

As the new season commenced, it was considered a good idea to speak to the sealing contractors who use our materials to see what they had to say. While we are all aware VicRoads is the actual end customer as the sealing programs are delivered, the facts are that our “contractual relationships” are with the sealing companies we supply.

Mr Trevor New, the State Manager for Sprayline Road Services started work in 1984 for VicRoads

Trevor completed 15 years in materials testing for VicRoads in the Western Region, before moving into the spray sealing industry where he is now a 14 year veteran. He is well qualified to discuss the pros and cons of this issue, taking into account the quarry producers perspective.

As Trevor put it ”Vicroads is really coming into line with the New South Wales RTA specifications that have been in operation for some years…”

Trevor went onto add that “It was while we were contracting in NSW regions that Sprayline we saw the benefits of the different specification. We could see the advantages in changing the specifications relating to the Victorian road sealing process…”

Trevor went onto say the texture and the life of the seal improves dramatically.

Trevor was also asked to consider the issue of waste from the producers and the contractor’s point of view, as this has been a matter of some contention from some producers.

Trevor’s view was that prior to the new specification the wastage left on stacksites was a huge issue.

Before the sealing process begins the material is essentially “rescreened” by the agi loaders at the stacksite. Under the old specification this wastage was essentially carted to the stacksite, and then screened out, to be dealt with after the stacksite was finished with, at the end of the season.

This meant loading and hauling to a legitimate form of disposal elsewhere.

So instead of the “waste” from the material production being dealt with at the quarry, (for instance re applied to other materials) it was handled 3 more times post the quarry. From any perspective, commercial or environmental this never made sense to the sealing contractors.

The CMPA is very pleased with the cooperation shown by VicRoads in all the matters raised. While understanding change never happens quickly it is pleasing to note that already sealing contractors and VicRoads personnel are highly satisfied with the efforts of our Members who have willingly cooperated with the changes.

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