When it comes to roads, almost everyone who drives, rides or cycles has in interest in ensuring best value for every dollar of public money spent.
That’s why the Transport Agency and its roading partners are putting a big emphasis on collaboration in a number of areas.
In the Waikato this has led to the formation of the Road Asset Technical Accord (RATA), an agreement between Waikato’s councils which enables them to co-operate on road maintenance spending.
Working under the umbrella of the Waikato Mayoral Forum, RATA has recently approved a business plan and appointed Dawn Inglis as its project manager.
"RATA is operating from an excellent base in that all councils in the region have committed to the project. The goal is to make significant savings on their $160 million year annual road maintenance spending, so there’s a lot at stake," says Dawn.
Initial work will focus on reviewing road reconstruction and resealing programmes of each council to assess the merits of each other’s approaches.
Future projects include a collaborative approach to LED street lighting, developing a consistent approach to the maintenance and improvements to unsealed roads and asset management database support.
The Transport Agency is supporting the initiative with a $250,000 grant.
Transport Agency regional planning and investment manager Robert Brodnax says “this collaborative approach is not only ground-breaking nationally, but we can see huge potential to make significant cost savings - which both local ratepayers and the wider public will benefit from”.