PLANS to overhaul a stretch of highway at Marong have angered residents who say it will create more traffic hazards.
Roadworks between McKimmie Road and Evermore Drive in Marong have already started, but residents are hoping the City of Greater Bendigo can make a last-ditch amendment to the service roads.
At a public meeting last night about 35 residents called on councillors to add a two-lane service road to avoid congestion.
The service roads are under council authority but VicRoads maintains the major road and highway.
Marong Community Action Group president Bert Roberts said VicRoads’ design had not taken into account the safety of truck drivers or the residents of Marong.
“They were put to us late October (2012). They said the plans were signed off on and they were right to go,” he said.
“There was no consultation. Once we finally were able to see them and the dangers they would pose, then all hell broke loose.”
Mr Roberts said the works meant B-double trucks would have to do a U-turn on the Calder Alternate Highway to reach the designated truck stop. Councillor Elise Chapman said a major concern was that the Marong State Emergency Service could be stuck behind trucks in a one-way lane.
She said the council was keen to resolve the issues but that VicRoads had been “completely inflexible” with its plans.
“We can change it to two-way on the service road,” she said.
“I’m hoping VicRoads can work with us on the exits and entries.
“But I don’t know how we’re going to get them to negotiate with us, they’re the joy police.”
Cr Chapman also called on VicRoads to revise the speed limits near Marong Pool down from 100km/h to avoid potential dangers for children crossing the road.
Marong resident John Rathbone said that in the 50 years he had lived in the area, he hadn’t seen any need for the changes.
“It’s only going to cause more confusion if we’ve got to do right-hand turns,” he said.
Bendigo councillors will put forward a new design at the next council meeting.