VICROADS inspected over 9900 of its culverts last financial year revealing some unexpected surprises – including snakes, rabbits and a family of little penguins.
Maintenance crews regularly inspect culverts to check general condition and identify repairs that need to take place to avoid more costly works in the future.
Under the 2017-18 inspection program, 33 culverts were replaced and a further 480 were cleaned out.
Culverts play an important role in the road network by allowing water to flow from one side of the road to the other, preventing water from pooling on the road surface and causing damage.
VicRoads Eastern Region Maintenance Alliance program manager, Michael Flegg said many people aren’t aware the organisation looks after a range of assets in addition to roads including culverts, bridges and safety barriers.
“This year our culvert inspection crew made some interesting discoveries when they were out in the field,” Mr Flegg said.
“In addition to the usual dirt and debris, we found that some of the local wildlife had decided to call our culverts home.
“Down on Phillip Island we found a family of little penguins tucked away in one of our larger culverts, which certainly came as a surprise to the team,” Mr Flegg said.
“We’ve also identified some great cost-saving opportunities during this year’s inspection program, including repairs to a rusted metal culvert discovered under the Princes Highway at Nicholson.
“We acted quickly, strengthening the culvert and preventing a future failure that could have resulted in highway closures and a much bigger repair price tag,” Mr Flegg said.
VicRoads delivers its maintenance in Gippsland via the Eastern Region Alliance, a partnership between VicRoads and Fulton Hogan.
View a video about the culvert inspection program at
Culvert inspections uncover the unexpected