Bypass money motion

WELLINGTON Shire Council will tonight consider a motion to seek federal and state government funding to upgrade an alternative transport route around Sale.

Upgrades for the route identified could cost about $50 million.

The current alternate route used by motorists takes them along Sale-Heyfield Rd, Myrtlebank-Fulham Rd, Maffra-Sale Rd and Myrtlebank Rds.

Ten years of traffic data indicates use of this route has increased by an average of six per cent each year, while the highway increased by about two per cent annually.

It is anticipated this traffic growth rate will continue.

The agenda for tonight’s council meeting includes a recommended motion that council write to VicRoads, outlining its support for Myrtlebank-Fulham Rd as a key alternative route and seeking federal and state government support in funding the required improvements.

Improvements were identified through the investment logic mapping process, summarising on one page an investment opportunity in enough detail to enable the average person to understand.

The mapping process identified about $50 million in works would be needed along the route.

Mapping workshops, held earlier this year involving VicRoads, Wellington Shire Council and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, helped to identify key problems, possible solutions and the benefits the project could deliver.

The alternative route around Sale could help address increasing freight costs, improve road safety and improve the amenity of Sale’s centre.

A number of limitations with the existing alternative route were identified, with the need to upgrade signs, improve intersections, upgrade the road cross section and undertake bridge strengthening works.

The alternative route was identified as one of the key actions of the 2013 Gippsland Freight Strategy.

The strategy also stated that alternative heavy vehicle routes “may be appropriate to deal with capacity, safety and amenity concerns in the key centres of Sale and Bairnsdale”.