Two clash over road bill responsibility

ON SITE: Peter Petrellis and Nick Tzaferis at the new service station at Ravenswood. Picture: LEIGH SHARP

ON SITE: Peter Petrellis and Nick Tzaferis at the new service station at Ravenswood. Picture: LEIGH SHARP

The company building a service station at Ravenswood is at loggerheads with VicRoads over who should pay for road upgrades worth $1 million.

Milemaker is building a multi-million dollar service centre on the north-bound side of the Calder Highway that will include 14 petrol pumps, two restaurants and a truckie lounge.

VicRoads has told Milemaker that because the centre will attract more traffic to the area, it must pay for new median breaks in the adjacent strip of the Calder Highway, allowing traffic from the opposite side of the road to enter the complex safely.

Video by Leigh Sharp

Property consultant for Milemaker, Charles Gauci, said it was unreasonable to ask the company to shoulder the cost for two reasons.

He said the new median breaks would need to be removed in a few years to make way for the major reconstruction of the Ravenswood Interchange and VicRoads should have added them anyway when they built the nearby rest area.

Mr Gauci said Milemaker was being forced to pay for a mistake on VicRoads' part.

"I think regardless of the scope of work, VicRoads has been opportunist and we’ve been hard done by," Mr Gauci said. 

He said if Milemaker didn't pay for the upgrades, the service centre could be forcibly shut down.  

"They can close your doors if you don’t do it," he said.

Milemaker recently submitted suggestions for lesser upgrades, which VicRoads is considering.

VicRoads regional director Mal Kersting said Milemaker was required to provide safe access to and from the complex. He said the need to remove the median breaks for the Ravenswood Interchange upgrade had no bearing on Milemaker's short-term obligations. 

"Despite the proximity of these separate projects, the current conditions of the permit require the developer to ensure the safety for all motorists using the Calder Highway and its facilities," he said.

To learn more, watch the video at bendigoadvertiser.com.au

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