PRELIMINARY concepts for the alternative truck route around Sale reveal three new roundabouts, including one on the Sale-Maffra Rd.
Safety improvements and minor realignments will help improve road conditions as traffic volume increases.
Statistics show traffic is increasing by about six per cent every year — going from 2514 cars and trucks in 2012 to 3194 in 2017 for two-way volumes on the Fulham-Myrtlebank Rd.
VicRoads is planning to install centreline barriers along the route where possible to prevent head-on crashes, and there will be a four-metre wide sealed shoulder along both sides of the road.
The safety upgrades are designed to reduce the crash rate on the route, especially where the Fulham-Myrtlebank Rd intersects with the Sale-Maffra and Sale-Heyfield roads.
The Sale-Heyfield Rd intersection has been the site of seven crashes, with 13 people being injured during the past 10 years.
Last week, a woman was injured after her vehicle went into a paddock and rolled, after she missed the turn.
More lighting will also be installed at key locations and intersections, and the bridges will be upgraded to allow B-double trucks to use the route.
VicRoads is continuing to consult with landholders on potential land acquisitions, and meetings with Wellington Shire Council, Wellington Regional Tourism, the Committee for Wellington and local businesses have indicated support.
Acting eastern region director Pas Monacella said more work would still need to be completed.
“Following consultation with landholders, community members and stakeholders last year on proposed plans to upgrade and make the ‘unofficial’ Sale alternative truck route an official alternative truck route, we have been back out to share our concept designs,” he said.
“Overall, people are generally supportive of the plans and we will continue to work with the directly affected landholders throughout the project.”
Online feedback will be added to comments from recent drop-in sessions at Bundalaguah and Sale, before concept designs are formalised and used to explore funding opportunities, including a planning scheme amendment to acquire land.
While the road is being described as an alternative truck route by VicRoads, other vehicles will not be prohibited from using the route to travel to or bypass Sale.