THE City of Greater Bendigo has given wire rope barriers a wide berth while planning to improve a dangerous intersection in Sedgwick.
Engineering manager Brett Martini said plans for upgrades roughly 500 metres either side of the intersection of Sedgwick and Storys roads initially featured wire rope safety barriers.
“We’ve looked to use an alternative treatment which is a more flexible guardrail barrier,” he said.
“The benefit of that is that it doesn’t deflect as much as the wire rope so we can install it a bit further away from the traffic lane, which gives a bit more space for motorists and cyclists.”
The amended designs were welcomed by members of the cycling community, who made particular note of council’s move away from wire rope barriers.
(MAP: Sedgwick Road and Storys Road, Sedgwick)
Edward Barkla, from the Bendigo Cycling Network, said the new style of barrier was ‘far more forgiving’ and expected it would be better for cyclists and motorists alike than the wire rope safety barriers.
He and Mr Martini were among attendees at a meeting late last week, where the planned works were discussed.
They include road widening, shoulder sealing, and road camber improvements.
Though residents and road users have welcomed the city’s plans to improve infrastructure at the black spot, former mayor Laurie Whelan said there was ‘still a lot more to happen’ before the community’s concerns were alleviated.
“The works will make that section of the road a lot safer,” he said.
But he said surrounding sections also needed to be addressed.
“The tragic side of it all is that it’s only until someone gets killed on those roads that the work gets done,” Mr Whelan said.
He said the eligibility criteria for the federal government’s Black Spot Program was ‘crazy’.
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The program targets sites with a proven history of crashes – a requirement the federal government intended to ensure ‘sites that have a recurrent problem are targeted first for treatment’.
“At the moment, that’s just how the criteria works for that federal program,” Mr Martini said.
“We always welcome the opportunity to put forward project that are a bit more preventative, but that’s often looked at in other programs.”
He said the intersection of Sedgwick and Storys roads had a history of run-off-road crashes.
Nationals candidate for Bendigo East Gaelle Broad, who convened last week’s meeting, said it was important the opportunity was taken to improve road safety for both cyclists and drivers.
Approximately 500 metres of the new barrier will be installed as part of the planned works.