Roadworks continue on safety upgrade
ROAD safety activity has increased on the Goulburn Valley Highway road safety project according to VicRoads.
Motorists along the Goulburn Valley Highway will see increased works activity with sections two and three of the Yea to Molesworth safety upgrade project now under way.
The latest works will assist with widening the road as well as providing for two overtaking lanes along 10 kilometres of road treatment.
One of the key features of the works will be the installation of a centre line wire rope barrier.
VicRoads regional director Nicky Kyriakou said to assist with these works vegetation needed to be removed, however, efforts were being made to reduce the impact of tree removal.
“Significant reductions have been made in the number of trees to be removed following refinements to the design and alignment of the works,” Ms Kyriakou said.
“This has resulted in a 58 per cent reduction in the number of trees needing removal in stage two.”
This will see the removal of 160 small trees (10cm to 60cm in diameter), one medium tree and one larger tree.
There will also be saplings and vegetation impacted.
Between 2010 and 2015, VicRoads statistics show 11 crashes occurred along this section of highway – eight people l ost t heir l ives and 1 3 p e o p l e were s e r i o u s l y injured.
Nine of t he 11 c r a s hes involved a vehicle crossing the centre line.
“This is a high risk road and we cannot let one more life be lost, and we recognise the concerns of those in the community who do not like to see vegetation removed,” Ms Kyriakou said.
“We understand - and share - the value the community places on roadside trees and do not take these works lightly, but this is a vital part of the improvement program and will increase safety significantly.”
Ms Kyriakou said that VicRoads will find every opportunity to work with community groups, agencies and individuals to find ways to use wood from the project site.
“We have arranged for some of the trees to be relocated to areas that will improve habitat in our waterways, for example at Sheep Wash Lagoon,” she said.
“Wood will also be transferred to Seven Creeks and Hughes Creek near Euroa and Seymour to improve the habitat for the endangered Macquarie perch and trout cod, and also utilise some trees in the road reserve to improve habitat for native fauna.”
Ms Kyriakou asked motorists for their patience during these works, noting there will be delays to travel.
“We do ask people to plan ahead, there will be reduced speed limits and traffic reduced to one lane during working hours,” she advised.
“These measures are put in place for the safety of motorists and importantly the safety of our workforce.”
This project is being delivered by the North Eastern Mai n t e n a n c e Al l i a n c e , a partnership between VicRoads and Downer.