No de­tails on bridge in­ter­sec­tion

Yarrawonga Chronicle - - Front Page - BY RACHEAL WIL­LETT

How ve­hi­cles will ac­cess the new Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala bridge, built on the grey route, to and from Bel­more Street con­tin­ues to be an unan­swered ques­tion and VicRoads has been un­able to shed any fur­ther light on the in­ter­sec­tion de­sign.

De­sign plans for the in­ter­sec­tion at the north­ern end of Bel­more Street have not been re­leased pub­li­cally by VicRoads at any stage through­out the bridge plan­ning project.

Also, de­spite be­ing ques­tioned about the in­ter­sec­tion on sev­eral oc­ca­sions by the Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle, VicRoads has never pro­vided any de­tails about the in­ter­sec­tion in terms of ve­hi­cle ac­cess to the new bridge.

In sup­port of the grey route (di­rectly along­side the ex­ist­ing bridge) with the ‘B’ con­nec­tion (from the bridge, down Irvine Pa­rade to the Mur­ray Val­ley High­way) VicRoads states the se­lec­tion “re­moves through-traf­fic and re­duces con­ges­tion in Bel­more Street” and “pro­vides an al­ter­nate freight route re­mov­ing trucks from Bel­more Street”.

A re­cently cir­cu­lated Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala Bridge Newsletter VicRoads also states that the route “pro­vides the short­est travel route for pedes­tri­ans, cy­clists and ve­hi­cles be­tween Mel­bourne and Bel­more streets”.

Op­po­nents of the grey route have sug­gested that what VicRoads is not re­veal­ing is that ve­hi­cles will not be able to di­rectly ac­cess the new bridge, head­ing to Mul­wala, from Bel­more Street.

In­stead, it has been sug­gested ve­hi­cles would likely have to be de­toured along a res­i­den­tial street, per­haps Piper Street, and ‘loop’ around onto Irvine Pa­rade to get onto the new bridge.

To try to shed some light on the is­sue, the Yar­ra­wonga Chron­i­cle posed a se­ries of di­rect ques­tions to VicRoads in re­la­tion to the de­sign, and more specif­i­cally the ac­cess, of the Bel­more Street to bridge in­ter­sec­tion, as fol­lows;

‘Can you pro­vide any in­for­ma­tion on the de­sign of that in­ter­sec­tion?’

‘If not in de­tail, can you con­firm that ve­hi­cles on ap­proach from Yar­ra­wonga would have to de­tour from Bel­more Street to come back along Irvine Pa­rade to get to the bridge?’

‘Or will ve­hi­cles be able to get di­rectly on and off the bridge from the Bel­more Street in­ter­sec­tion?’

In re­sponse, VicRoads North Eastern Re­gional Di­rec­tor Nicki Kyr­i­akou said fur­ther traf­fic mod­el­ling and com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion needed to be un­der­taken be­fore the de­sign of the new in­ter­sec­tion.

“Fur­ther traf­fic mod­el­ling is be­ing un­der­taken to en­sure that the Mur­ray Val­ley High­way con­nec­tion to the new bridge will cater for the cur­rent and fu­ture needs of Yar­ra­wonga and Mul­wala,” Ms Kyr­i­akou said.

“This will in­clude a de­tailed as­sess­ment of traf­fic counts and move­ments.

“The in­ter­sec­tion de­sign will con­sider this data and the feed­back from the com­mu­nity and in­dus­try to en­sure it sat­is­fies the needs of all road users and meets the safety stan­dards.”

Ms Kyr­i­akou said the com­mu­nity would be con­sulted on the fi­nal de­sign as the project pro­gresses.

She also said the com­mu­nity could ex­pect to hear more from VicRoads in com­ing months once the re­fer­ral for the En­vi­ron­men­tal Ef­fects State­ment (EES) to the Depart­ment of Trans­port, Plan­ning and Lo­cal In­fra­struc­ture is fi­nalised in Oc­to­ber.

VicRoads hosted the se­cond of two com­mu­nity in­for­ma­tion ses­sions on the Yar­ra­wonga Mul­wala bridge project in Bel­more Street last Thurs­day.

Ms Kyr­i­akou said around 60 to 70 peo­ple had taken the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend the ses­sions in Mul­wala and Yar­ra­wonga and speak to VicRoads rep­re­sen­ta­tives, in­clud­ing her­self.

She said among the main is­sues raised were the de­sign of in­ter­sec­tions con­nect­ing the bridge and con­nec­tion to the Mur­ray Val­ley High­way, ac­cess for ve­hi­cles to the growth cor­ri­dor of Yar­ra­wonga east and main­tain­ing ac­cess be­tween Yar­ra­wonga and Mul­wala while the new bridge is built.

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