VICROADS has defended its roadworks in Marong, saying the changes are needed for the long-term safety of road users.
The plans to put in new entrance and exit points to a new subdivision along the Calder Alternate Highway prompted opposition from Marong residents who voiced their concerns at a public meeting on Monday night.
City of Greater Bendigo councillors have called on VicRoads to review speed limits in the area and allow a two-way service road to be included.
VicRoads regional director Mal Kersting said the rate of growth in the region demanded that upgrades be carried out.
“The traffic at the moment in that area is pretty ad hoc,” he said. “The real issue for us is that a developer has proposed a big subdivision with 139 lots. It’s going to create a big increase in traffic and place a great deal of strain on those service roads. We can’t leave it the way it is.”
Mr Kersting said the plans, which were outlined last year, would bring the road in line with expected usage over coming years.
He said safety features were the highest priority in putting in the designs.
“Our concern is for the road safety of existing residents and future residents.”
Councillor Elise Chapman has called for VicRoads to meet residents again and look at the roads to get an idea of people’s frustration.
“They never came out to have a look before putting these plans in,” she said. “They’re not interested.”
Mr Kersting said VicRoads managers and engineers had met residents three times and would be keen for more community consultation.
He said he was confident the designs met all safety requirements and concerns residents had.
“The over-arching requirement is for a safe solution to the issue,” he said.
“We’re keen to work with the local community – but in some cases we have to take a longer-term view that requires these sort of works.”