VicRoads and Fulton Hogan have performed more than 9900 culvert inspections, replacing 33 and cleaning a further 480 throughout the last financial year.
Crews cleaning out the culverts encountered snakes, rabbits and even a family of penguin.
VicRoads Eastern Region Maintenance Alliance Program Manager Michael Flegg said a lot of 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. In addition to the usual dirt and debris, we found that some of the local wildlife had decided to call our culverts home,” Mr Flegg said.
“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.”
The inspections meant VicRoads were able to find issues with certain culverts and repair or replace them before they became issues.
“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,” Mr Flegg said.
“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.”