It's a pet hate of motorists, traders and residents - enduring the inconvenience of roadworks by a council, government department or utility, only to have another one dig up the same street weeks later.

It happened last year when Glenelg traders were horrified as Jetty Rd was dug up for the laying of new tram tracks, then shortly after to replace ageing water pipes.

Roadworks along Jetty Rd, Glenelg
Roadworks along Jetty Rd, Glenelg, last year. Picture Mark Brake

And Campbelltown and Onkaparinga councils have also copped flak over excessive disruption and waste after doubling up on roadworks in their areas.

But an invention by South Australian company Esri Australia, a cloud-based scheduling tool for public works management called SmarterWX, should put an end to such problems.

SA Water, the Transport Department and Salisbury, Mitcham and West Torrens councils have adopted it since it was launched last year.

Esri Australia smart infrastructure specialist David Trengove said users found the system paid for itself.

“It costs $5000 a year to subscribe to SmarterWX and the costs to dig a trench are $3000 to $5000 a metre,” he said.

“So all you need to do is save digging one trench, twice a year (to get your money's worth). And we haven't costed the damage to reputation or the disruption to the community, residents and businesses by not co-ordinating capital works.” Mr Trengove said the system automatically identified an “opportunity” to collaborate when two or more construction projects were planned for the same place and time. It sent emails inviting the parties to collaborate, “saving time, money and disruption”.

Areas could also be marked as an “exclusion zone” with an embargo on street works for the duration of a festival, parade or Christmas pageant, street market or fun-run such as the City to Bay.

Roadworks along Jetty Rd, Glenelg II
Roadworks along Jetty Rd, Glenelg, last year. Picture Mark Brake

Asset, operations and delivery general manager at SA Water, Mark Gobbie, said the organisation wanted to do smarter planning.

“With our $137 million, 375,000m water main replacement program well under way across the state, SA Water was keen to get on board with this new technology at an early stage to help deliver benefits for our customers and road users,” Mr Gobbie said.

“Wherever possible we look to schedule our works to complement those being carried out by (the Transport Department) and local councils, and this tool will strengthen our information sharing and co-ordinate works so we avoid roads being reinstated and then unnecessarily dug up again.” SmarterWX will be featured at the GeoSmart Asia 2018 conference, also known as Location 18, at the Adelaide Convention Centre next week.

This article first appeared in The Advertiser on 4 April, 2018.

For more information about the collaborative technology of SmarterWX helps smarter works scheduling, visit smarterwx.com.au.

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