Road re­sponse ready

VicRoads say Great Alpine Road works will ad­dress con­cerns

Alpine Observer - - Front Page - By VANESSA BURGESS

SHOUL­DER con­struc­tion, pedes­trian cross­ing, in­ter­sec­tion up­grades and sig­nage re­views are some of the pro­posed works slated for Great Alpine Road in the next three to four years.

VicRoads held a com­mu­nity meet­ing in Bright late last month and an­nounced where it would spend $ 8 mil­lion to up­grade the Wan­garatta-Cobun­gra sec­tion of this im­por­tant re­gional route.

Fol­low­ing meet­ings with road user groups in March, and com­mu­nity meet­ings in April and May, the agency said key is­sues had been iden­ti­fied by more than 1200 peo­ple who par­tic­i­pated in a com­mu­nity feed­back process.

Among 1200 par­tic­i­pants, 79 pro­vided a for­mal feed­back and 26 pro­vided in­for­mal feed­back via so­cial me­dia.

Af­ter as­sess­ing the feed­back and find­ing out what mat­tered most to the com­mu­nity, VicRoads North East- ern re­gional di­rec­tor Nicki Kyr­i­akou said the agency was pleased to an­nounce what works were now planned for the 158-kilo­me­tre stretch of road.

“We’ve been out meet­ing with res­i­dents, in­dus­try and other gov­ern­ment agen­cies since March and have taken on board the broad feed­back and ideas they shared,” she said.

Sig­nage was the big­gest con­cern for re­spon­dents – with 17 per cent iden­ti­fy­ing in­ac­cu­ra­cies in sig­nage, as well as a gen­eral lack of sig­nage as a ma­jor is­sue.

Cy­clist and pedes­trian safety was next on the list of wor­ries, with 13.9pc of par­tic­i­pants in­di­cat­ing that shar­ing the road was of par­tic­u­lar con­cern.

In­ter­sec­tion safety was seen as an­other im­por­tant is­sue with 13.4pc rais­ing the po­ten­tial dan­gers.

Other con­cerns in­cluded in­suf­fi­cient rest stops (7pc), nar­row roads (4pc) and speed – both too fast and too slow (9pc).

The pro­posed up­grades may in­clude new pedes­trian cross­ings in Bright, shoul­der con­struc­tion and seal­ing be­tween Wan­garatta and Har­ri­etville, bar­rier in­stal­la­tion in high-risk ar­eas, a sig­nage re­view to en­sure con­sis­tency and ac­cu­racy, and in­ter­sec­tion up­grades.

Ac­cord­ing to VicRoads, shoul­der con­struc­tion and seal­ing ap­pears to be the first pri­or­ity with works hope­fully com­menc­ing this sum­mer, but the or­gan­i­sa­tion has con­firmed the new shoul­ders will not be des­ig­nated bike lanes “as this (Great Alpine Road) is a 100km/h ru­ral ar­te­rial road”.

Myrtle­ford’s Stan­dish Street in­ter­sec­tion will be up­graded with the in­stal­la­tion of a round­about, while Snow Road, Ta­wonga Gap and other iden­ti­fied in­ter­sec­tions still re­quire fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion and com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion be­fore treat­ment op­tions are de­ter­mined.

Al­though the works are yet to be con­firmed, Ms Kyr­i­akou said the is­sues iden­ti­fied by the com­mu­nity had been ad­dressed.

“We’re con­fi­dent the pro­posed pack­age of works ad­dresses the main con­cerns raised by the com­mu­nity, which cen­tred on pedes­trian and cy­clist safety, sig­nage and safety around in­ter­sec­tions,” she said.

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