News

Boost for rural roads

by
May 02, 2018

The Victorian Government says drivers in Benalla can look forward to safer, more reliable roads following the launch of what it is calling the biggest regional road maintenance blitz Victoria has ever seen.

The State Budget 2018/19 allocates $941 million to fix Victoria’s regional road network, including a $56 million maintenance uplift for VicRoads’ North East Region.

State Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes has announced $105000 in funding for Benalla Rural City Council to improve two intersections on the Midland Hwy, at Cowan St in Benalla and Gandini Lane in Lima East.

Benalla Rural City Council has contributed $25000 to the two projects, which are expected to be completed this year.

New street lighting will be installed at the intersection of Cowan St and the Midland Hwy to improve visibility for approaching drivers, following community feedback that the intersection can be difficult to see at night.

‘‘These relatively minor improvements to these intersections will improve safety for all road users, including cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘Both of these projects are part of the Andrews Labor Government’s Building Our Region’s fund, which supports VicRoads to work with community and local councils to deliver projects at a low cost with greater value.’’

More than 1000km of roads will be repaired, resurfaced or rebuilt as part of the program.

It’s not just key arterials that are set for an upgrade, local councils will be able to apply to the new $100 million Fixing Country Roads fund, to get support to fix local roads.

‘‘This massive investment in our local roads will see major upgrades, resurfacing and rebuilds across the north east, giving our communities the roads they can rely on,’’ Ms Symes said.

‘‘Over the last 12 months we’ve seen an enormous amount of roadworks across the north east.

‘‘While there is always more to do and road works can be frustrating, the Andrews Labor Government is investing in the roads regional communities need.’’

To oversee this investment, the state government will establish Regional Roads Victoria (RRV), a division of VicRoads with staff in regional centres across the state.

Led by a chief regional roads officer, RRV will have the sole focus of giving country communities roads they can rely on.

This investment in country roads builds on the program of upgrades and maintenance carried out across Victoria, including Hume Fwy at Wallan and Euroa, the Goulburn Valley Hwy at Yea and on the Katamatite-Yarrawonga Rd.

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