THE Wimmera’s residents will see soon improvements to some of the region’s major roads after the state government announced a $45 million improvement works package for western Victoria.
Regional Roads Victoria will oversee works on the region’s 5500-kilometre arterial road network, with 25 individual projects scheduled.
It will include improvements to two of region’s most frequently used freight and transport routes, with sections of both the Western and Wimmera highways set for repair and rehabilitation works.
Improvement works will take place at eight sites along the Western Highway – including areas around Horsham, Dimboola and Gerang Gerung – totalling about six kilometres all up.
Furthermore, 6.7 kilometres of the Wimmera Highway will receive about $4.9 million worth of repairs and rehabilitation, specifically focused around the Rupanyup, Marnoo and St Arnaud areas.
Hindmarsh Shire Council chief executive Greg Wood said the council was always pleased to see funding contributions to improve the region’s roads.
“We're always pleased with extra funding, but the issue is that funding always seems to go to the major highways,” he said.
“That is great because they do need work, but there are significant issues with a number of C-class roads around the shire which also need attention.”
Mr Wood said there were a number of critical roads joining towns within the shire that urgently needed repairs.
“Those critical roads include the Dimboola-Rainbow and Nhill-Jeparit roads, plus roads that go out of our shire such as the Borung Highway between Dimboola and Warracknabeal,” he said.
“What we’d like to see from both sides of politics is a commitment to more rural road funding in the lead up to the election, especially from the Coalition.”
Member for Western Victoria Jaala Pulford said the improvements would help benefit the region’s primary producers.
“This massive road maintenance blitz will focus on some of western Victoria’s most important connections – these are the roads that connect our communities and that our primary producers rely on,” she said.
“The massive program of works announced today is just the beginning – we’ll have more to say about road rebuilds, resurfacing and further upgrades as the maintenance season ramps up.”
People can now view and keep track on which maintenance works are underway or planned across the state through a new website.
Alternatively, they can also contact the new Ballarat based call centre on 133 778.