The construction of a roundabout at the dangerous intersection at the junction of Murray Valley Highway and Woods Road remains in the planning stages with its completion expected in the middle of 2020.
Despite receiving federal government funding for a new roundabout at the intersection almost four years ago Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) is still working towards its design.
RRV anticipate that construction of the roundabout will start early in 2020 and be completed mid-year.
Regional Director (North Eastern) for Regional Roads Victoria Steve Bowmaker said Regional Roads have been working closely with Moira Shire and planning has taken time to ensure future proofing of the intersection.
The intersection design will aim to deliver good vehicle access on all approaches and prioritises minimal service relocation and land acquisition. The new roundabout will slow vehicles on approach to enhance pedestrian safety.
“Regional Roads Victoria continues to work closely with Moira Shire Council to finalise detailed designs for the roundabout on the Murray Valley Highway at Yarrawonga,” Mr Bowmaker said.
“The roundabout will improve safety and relieve pressure on one of Yarrawonga’s busiest intersections – by removing the conflict between local and highway traffic, providing safer turning opportunities and better catering for heavy vehicles.
“Planning this takes time to ensure the final design future-proofs the intersection from
increasing traffic volumes and a growing freight task.”
Moira Shire General Manager Infrastructure Andrew Close said council has been working with RRV to ensure traffic is not disrupted overly during construction and pedestrian access is supplied.
“These much-needed works are likely to begin in February or March next year,” Mr Close said.
“Council has discussed our preferred options for detour routes on our local streets with Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) as Woods Road is likely to be closed off for access from the highway.
“It is expected RRV will close off one side of Woods Road at a time and local traffic wanting access to Woods Road will follow the detour routes via local streets.
“Council is expecting RRV to coordinate the public notification of the detour routes closer to the start of construction.
“Council will ensure footpath and pedestrian access is provided in the design so people will have access across the intersection to the local schools, aged care centre and medical centre after construction.
“We are also working with RRV to ensure the drainage works match up with our existing drainage infrastructure.”
The roundabout is just one of the key projects that made up the Federal and Victorian Governments’ joint $20 million injection to increase safety on a 130km stretch of the Murray Valley Highway from Echuca to Yarrawonga.
The local community has often expressed concerns about the busy intersection, which attracts an enormous amount of pedestrian and vehicle traffic, particularly around school starting and finishing times.
Many pedestrians and drivers, including bus drivers avoid using the intersection which often experiences considerable delays.
Local member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy conveyed his disappointment in the project still not in construction staging saying the wait is unreasonable.
“It is now over three years since funding was confirmed by the Labor Government to build a roundabout at the dangerous Murray Valley Highway and Woods Road intersection,” Mr McCurdy said.
“Regional Roads Victoria has been tasked with construction. In May this year they indicated they are still in the planning stages and anticipate having the roundabout completed by mid-2020.
“Regional Roads Victoria have known about the funding for over three years.
“I can’t imagine that planning for construction would possibly take that much time - it’s not like the problems at this intersection are new to them.
“It is totally unreasonable for this community to have to wait all this time for action.”