National road code will impact UFB, council IT

Wanganui District Council selects new system for roading management

The new national code of practice for management of transport corridors is about to become mandatory. As well as dealing with the responsibilities of utilities when roads are dug up, it also has implications for the laying of broadband fibre.

“The code will have a huge impact on councils,” says Wanganui District Council roading compliance officer Dave Kenning. “It formalises things you may have done in the past with a handshake. It’s going to give us a uniform standard of ethics across the country.”

Three years ago Wanganui District Council selected a new electronic system for roading activity management.

Plan.IT.road is an application built to administer and monitor action in the roading corridor.

Kenning says a system encompassing all aspects of corridor management is essential. “The code says the Roading Control Authority must have accurate records of forward works programmes.”

All of the contracting community in the Wanganui district use Plan.IT.road.

“This gives us full control and analysis,” he says. “At any time we can go into the system and see who’s there, doing what and when. It also tells contractors and utilities that we’re serious about looking after the roading corridor and protecting people’s assets.”

Plan.IT.road was developed by BureauCo as a web-based application that allows all parties involved in any aspect or the roading corridor to efficiently communicate.

Co-founder Stephen Parker says the most complex version of the system has just gone live, based on the latest software from GIS specialist Esri.

“We’ve moving to IBM next month as our cloud host,” he says.

Various codes of practice for the sector are embedded in the software’s icons, including lists of organisations which are accredited to do the necessary work.

Parker stresses the productivity gains. “Transfield Services says that in Wanganui they have reduced their turnaround time from 10 days to less than a day. Of course, there are also far fewer road closures, and the prospect of third-party damages, where one utility damages another’s property, is greatly reduced.” Users manage planning approval and coordinate road operations online, with full auditability, says Parker.

Local Government Online chief executive Cassandra Crowley says the Plan.IT.road model has the ability to provide an infrastructure management tool for every level of government in New Zealand, “delivering real productivity gains and reducing interruption to a key piece of New Zealand’s economic network”.

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