Mobile app improves road maintenance

Article image - Mobile app improves road maintenance Road crew uses the mobile app for real time updates.

Committed to exploring how Smart City ideas can be implemented in Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Council has transformed its road maintenance processes by developing a custom-made software system using mobile technology.

Manager Asset Management, Helen Plummer, said that with $1.7 billion worth of road infrastructure, striving for continuous improvement in road maintenance practises is high on Council’s list of priorities.

“As part of Council’s Digital Economy Strategy we have been exploring how we can use technology to better connect the City’s widely dispersed communities – both physically and in the digital environment.

“Seeing opportunity in the use of mobile technology in asset management, Council embarked on a project to develop an app to enhance the efficiency of road maintenance and upgrade works.

“Even though the idea of doing this is not a new one, having it developed in-house has meant we have been able to cater for key internal stakeholder needs and tailor the technology to suit Council’s existing systems.

“The app provides real-time, accurate information about planned road works.

“It also allows for the collection of valuable road condition data and displays this within our Geographic Information System (GIS).

“The app delivered major efficiency gains for our field workforce, because it was designed to minimise the need for staff to return to the office.

“When our field staff attend a site to assess the severity of a reported defect they can use the app to also view any future planned works, take photos and add instructions before assigning the job to a field crew for rectification, if required.

“Once the job is assigned to a crew, it is prioritised by severity and location, ensuring that the crews complete the jobs in an efficient sequence.”

Council is responsible for more than 755 square km of local road infrastructure and maintenance of road, traffic and public transport assets.