Keep your eyes on the road - all 10 of them

NO, its not from Google or the latest crime-busting innovation from Victoria Police.  

For the last week an all-seeing, high-tech vehicle has been carrying out a survey on the condition of Warrnambool’s 330 kilometres of roads.

Under the city’s asset management plan, a road audit must be undertaken every three years and for the first time the council has opted for the mobile, high-tech assessment.

The car has 10 cameras mounted on its roof, along with other precise equipment which can measure the extent of pavement failure, rutting and cracks as little as one-millimetre in size while capturing high-definition video and three-dimensional photos. 

Drivers Clint Gardner and Jason Zhang were quick to admit their car has confused plenty of people as they do their work.

“We get a lot of looks as we drive by. Everyone seems to thinks that we’re Google maps. We get that about five times a day,” Mr Zhang said.

“Plenty of people wave because they think we’re filming them,” Mr Gardner added.

Council’s asset management co-ordinator John Finnerty believes the project will allow the council to develop an accurate road maintenance plan while getting as much value out of the budget as possible. 

“We’d really like to try and save spending money by doing preventative works rather than digging up roads later on,” Mr Finnerty said. 

The project will also allow for extra transparency of council spending — concerned ratepayers could be shown visual evidence of why certain projects had been funded.

“It’s terribly difficult to justify what we do sometimes,” he said. 

“We come along and do a reseal simply just to keep water out so it doesn’t destroy what’s underneath it, but to residents there was no visible problem and the council was just spending money,” Mr Finnerty said

“I hope that we will be able to show people why we did that and show them what the area looked like last year.”

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