Building sustainable roads
- We are focused on reducing our environmental impact and protecting native vegetation and wildlife during road projects.
- The Better Local Roads Program has been developed in line with our 2018-28 Sustainable Environment Policy
- In 2023, we won the Excellence Award from IPWEA for work with GPR surveys on tree roots
- We carry out full biodiversity and cultural heritage studies wherever possible before building new roads.
- We work with arborists, and environmental and indigenous groups when planning our upgrades.
Reducing our footprint
To reduce council’s environmental impact, alternate recycled pavement options have been used on some road sealing projects.
More than 1500 tonnes of recycled glass was used in the crushed rock pavement along McGregor and Soldiers Roads, as a part of the Strategic Sealed Roads project.
End-of-life tyres were used in a crumb rubber modified asphalt mix in the 2022 road sealing project at Princes Avenue and Crichton Road, Emerald. This saved about 6kg or 90 truck tyres from going into landfill.
We have also added solar powered street lighting at intersections and crossings and solar operated raised reflective pavement markers.
Protecting our wildlife
As part of the Strategic Sealed Roads project, 7 experimental bandicoot crossings have been installed along Boundary Drain Road and Main Drain Road, Koo Wee Rup, in partnership with Cranbourne Royal Botanic Gardens.
The crossings aim to reduce road deaths of this nationally endangered species.
The Royal Botanic Gardens Cranbourne will continue to conduct follow-up studies to monitor how well the crossings are working. Depending on their success, these crossings will become the new standard across the state.
Wildlife sensitive lighting
Three 3000k solar wildlife sensitive lights have been installed at key intersections and bends along McGregor and Soldiers Roads in Rythdale.
Wildlife sensitive lighting is being trialled across the shire, as part of road upgrade projects.
The trial aims to reduce the impact of artificial lighting on local wildlife including the Crescent Honeyeater, echidnas, Gould’s wattle bat and the Australian Painted Lady Butterfly.
It involves using warm, amber coloured LED globes with reduced blue-white light to maintain key natural, bodily processes. These lights are directed down at the road to reduce light spill and glare for nearby wildlife.
Wildlife sensitive lighting uses similar technology to, turning on the blue-light filter on your phone, as warmer lights are more natural and therefore have more natural effects on your body.
Warm, amber-coloured lights have been found to improve and regulate sleep, behaviour, feeding, growth, development, and reproduction in wildlife.
Protecting our trees
In 2023, council was nominated for an Excellence Award from the IPWEA for work with GPR (ground penetrating radar) surveys on tree roots.
Environmental investigations happen before on any road projects, with tree removal being a common outcome.
To minimise tree removals, council trialled GPR surveys along Dore Road in Nar Nar Goon to better understand the location and depth of existing tree roots.
Surveyors provided a car with cameras and GPR software, which drove along the existing unsealed road that sent out signals to capture a 3D model of the tree roots below and around the ground.
Without using the GPR surveys, it was estimated that over 340 trees would have needed to be removed. Thanks to the GPR surveys, 95% of these trees were saved.
GPR surveys will now be used on other Strategic Sealed Roads projects such as Mt Lyall Road in Heath Hill, Bessie Creek Road in Gembrook, and Evans Rd in Bunyip.