VicRoads claims new road spend ‘addresses issues’
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 in 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 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 Eastern 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 13.4 per cent raising the potential dangers.
Other concerns included insufficient rest stops (7 per cent), narrow roads (4 per cent) and speed – both too fast and too slow (9 per cent).
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.