Roadworks to continue

WORKS to improve the state of the Princes Highway between Sale and Bairnsdale are scheduled to continue.

In its March update, Regional Roads Victoria said the safety improvements on the Princes Highway between Sale and Stratford were almost complete, with maintenance and new line-markings due to be installed from March 25.

Works on the final seal of the road’s asphalt, originally planned for the first quarter of 2019, are now scheduled to occur after winter, “to achieve a better quality and longer lasting product”.

Flexible safety barriers will continue to be installed along the left-hand side of the Princes Highway between Stratford and Bairnsdale.

Centreline flexible safety barriers were scheduled to be installed from Sandhill Rd (north of Stratford) towards Lindenow-Meerlieu Rd from the beginning of this week.

Works have already been undertaken to widen the existing road shoulders, creating a distance of 7.2 metres between the centreline and left-hand road side barriers once installed.

These road widening works have allowed for construction of a three metre road shoulder that allows drivers to safely pull over to the left-hand side of the road if required.

Breaks within the barrier have been incorporated into the design to minimise impacts to property and emergency services access.

Construction is scheduled take place between 6am and 8pm, Monday to Friday, with both lanes of traffic to remain open.

As crews will be working to install centreline flexible barriers in the middle of the road, reduced speeds to 40 kilometres per hour and additional traffic management will be in place.

Those travelling through the area should allow extra travel time.

Works on the roundabout at the intersection of McAlister St and the Princes Highway in Stratford are almost complete.

A final asphalt layer and line-marking has been installed to provide road users with a smooth, level and safe road surface.

A final coating to the line-marking will be applied in the coming weeks, with landscaping works to be completed by the Wellington Shire Council shortly.

The single-lane roundabout features a concrete apron – a mountable area around the edge of the centre island.

The concrete apron is designed to allow larger trucks (up to A-double), buses and recreational vehicles sufficient room to safely navigate the intersection.

This was incorporated into the design because of the limited space available at the intersection.

The apron is more significant on the Sale side to allow heavy vehicles to safely navigate the roundabout at a reduced speed, within the space available.

A final asphalt layer has levelled out the height difference between the concrete apron and road surface.

Regional Roads Victoria cited residential consultation as the reason behind the roundabout.

“When we met with residents in 2017 and 2018 to better understand what road safety upgrades they wanted to see, improved access and safety at the McAlister St and Tyers St-Princes Highway intersection was raised as high on the list of community priorities,” the release reads.

“Roundabouts are one of the safest types of intersections and work by slowing the flow of traffic and guiding vehicles in the one direction.

“Research shows they can reduce the risk of crashes at intersections by up to 85 per cent.”

Lower speed limits have been introduced through Stratford to improve safety through the town.

From the Avon River Bridge to McFarlane St, a new 50kph speed limit has been introduced, while the current 60kph zones on approach to the town have been extended.

A new 80kph zone has been implemented south of Stratford-Maffra Rd to the Old Princes Highway intersection, and the current 80kph zone north of Stratford will be extended to Stratford-Bengworden Rd.

The lower speed limits will improve safety through Stratford for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, and ensure drivers safely enter and exit the new roundabout at the intersection of McMillian St and Princes Highway.

Regional Roads Victoria has identified the Princes Highway between Sale to Bairnsdale as one of Victoria’s highest-risk rural roads.

In the five-year period leading up to 2015, there were 54 serious crashes along this stretch of road, where five people lost their lives and 17 people were seriously injured.

To get in contact with Regional Roads Victoria, phone 133 778 or email engage.ssrip@roads.vic.gov.au