VicRoads is effectively managing the structural safety of bridges and culverts and prioritises annual funding to the areas of greatest short-term need. However, VicRoads has not formed detailed long-term plans nor adequately measured, forecast and reported on the levels of service experienced by road users. Doing these things is a prerequisite for VicRoads to adequately inform longer-term resourcing decisions.
While councils’ bridges and major culverts have been safe to use, their approach to managing these assets limits their ability to fully assure their continued safe operation. Examples of incomplete, out of date and unreliable information on bridge condition and weaknesses in councils’ asset management processes should be addressed so that councils can demonstrate effective asset management.
Both VicRoads and local councils recognise that competition for scarce resources means there is a risk that funding falls short of the levels required to meet road users’ expectations. Agencies need to understand and manage these expectations by completing robust long-term plans, establishing performance measures and improving their public performance reporting.