The Far North District Council is counting traffic to assess the level of maintenance work required on the roads vehicles are using.
Council infrastructure and assets general manager David Penny said a new road maintenance "hierarchy" system to standardise service levels on the 2530km of roads in the district should maximise returns on the $25 million the FNDC spends on its road network annually.
The hierarchy sets levels of maintenance for all roads in the district according to densities and whether the road is an arterial, collector or local road. "It would be nice to have every pothole on every road receiving immediate attention, but the reality is that roads with high-traffic volumes are always going to be given a higher priority," Mr Penny said.
The hierarchy would give residents and contractors a clearer understanding of the maintenance the council would undertake on a given road.
"It provides a more precise formula under which the council can manage and budget for the district's roading needs over the next decade," Mr Penny said.
The hierarchy also provided the council with a mechanism for consistent decision-making within the available budgets. "This is pretty much new ground, particularly for unsealed roads. Very few attempts have been made to implement a system of this type previously."
The hierarchy did not prevent the council undertaking special maintenance on roads if traffic volumes increased unexpectedly or roads were damaged by an unexpected weather event and urgently needed to be repaired.