Concerns over failing roads

The condition of the Bengworden Rd has deteriorated, even in areas where works have been recently completed.

Josh Farrell

A local MP has raised concerns about Gippsland roads failing, despite recent upgrades.

Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien lamented the poor condition of local roads generally, and called on the state government to make improvements.

He said he was “extremely disappointed” in works that had been completed on a number of roads.

“I was pretty happy earlier in the year when, after a lot of lobbying, shoulder sealing and widening was undertaken on a number of local roads,” he said.

“But to my dismay — and that of many locals — it’s taken just weeks or months for these works to deteriorate badly, particularly along the ‘seal’ between the old road edge and the new shoulder, creating potholes, an uneven surface and dangerous conditions for drivers.

“Many of these roads are now in a worse condition before the works were completed.”

Mr O’Brien has written to Roads Minister, Ben Carroll, to ask that failing roads be repaired to an acceptable standard, and called on a reviews of the engineering and tender processes to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Motorists have raised concerns about the quality of the Bengworden Rd, which runs between Bairnsdale and Sale.

Despite being resurfaced earlier in the year, sections of the road have begun to deteriorate — particularly along the edges.

One resident — who wished to remain anonymous — complained the road was being worked on, but the problems were not being rectified.

“They’re fixing it again – they’re on their third fix now,” he said

“It’s not going to work — it’s like putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound.

“They’ve left it in a worse state than when they started.”

A government spokesperson said regional roads were the lifeblood of communities, and it was working hard to ensure they are up to standard.

“Our crews are out across Gippsland inspecting, assessing and repairing our regional roads following recent bad weather to ensure the network, including Bengworden Rd, is safe for road users,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said it was not uncommon for potholes to form after heavy rainfall — “wet conditions can result in road seals deteriorating before the end of their anticipated lifespan”.

Bengworden Rd received $6.3 million in funding from state and federal governments for upgrades.

Under the Victorian and Australian governments’ road safety program, it will receive targeted safety barriers, shoulder sealing at selected locations, audio-tactile line marking, intersection upgrades and other safety improvements.

Works that began in August are still progressing, but major works should be completed by the end of this year.

Weather permitting, sealing and line-marking will take place next year.