A huge number of roads projects remain on local council wishlists despite Regional Roads Victoria funding 21 projects worth more than $16 million in central Victoria.
Councils hope the Fixing Country Roads Project will be extended after the second and final round of funding was announced.
City of Greater Bendigo manager of engineering Brett Martini said the council had an extensive list of road projects they would like to see happen.
"There is probably about 40 on that list and it will continue to grow as the city grows," he said.
"We also have (roads ) that have a continual requirement to replace assets as they get to the end of their life. The (Fixing Country Roads Project) was a welcome funding stream but it was only a two year program. We would like to see the state government continue to fund a similar program in the future."
Loddon Shire director of operations Steve Phillips said the funding for the Echuca-Serpentine Road project was a welcome boost but there was always more to do.
"It will take a couple of years to be completed," he said. "Our priority focus is on completing that because it is a significant and strategic road for freight carriers. This funding is helpful and useful for us in delivering and improving the safety of our road network, but there is always more that we could do."
Buloke Shire chief executive Anthony Judd said he hoped the program continued in some way. "These programs are invaluable to keep our 5000 kilometres of road up to scratch," he said.
Country roads projects prepare for upgrades
Twenty-one road projects in central Victoria worth more than $16 million are set to go ahead in the next round of the Fixing Country Roads Program.
More than 300 kilometres of council roads will be either rebuilt or widened, 65 kilometres of gravel roads sealed, 38 bridges improved, and 27 intersections upgraded during round two of the project
Buloke Shire, Campaspe Shire, Central Goldfields Shire, City of Greater Bendigo, Loddon Shire, Macedon Ranges Shire and Mount Alexander Shire councils have all shared in funding which helps local councils upgrade, maintain and improve roads.
The state government has contributed more than $10 million to the 21 projects in central Victoria while local councils will provide more than $6 million.
"Roads aren't just roads to regional communities, they're connections to families, markets and jobs - which is exactly why we're making sure all country Victorians have better quality roads, regardless of who manages them," Regional Roads Victoria regional director Brian Westley said.
"Communities across north central Victoria are already experiencing safer and more durable roads thanks to the program."
Culgoa-Ultima Road - upgrade
A safer and more reliable transport route will be the result of this $2.25 million project. Roads will be widened from 3.8 metres to seven metres along a seven kilometre stretch and the sandstone-based pavement will be replaced to better accommodate higher mass limit vehicles.
Watchem-Warracknabeal Road - upgrade
A 1.3 kilometre stretch of this road will be reconstructed and widened at a cost of $450,000. The existing road is in poor condition and is an important truck route.
It is considered a link road by Buloke Shire and has seen an increase in traffic. Buloke Shire chief executive Anthony Judd said both Culgoa-Ultima Road and Watchem-Warracknabeal Road were key freight routes through the shire.
"These roads (Culgoa-Ultima and Watchem-Warracknabeal) are busy all the time," he said.
"At the end of both roads is big grain and hay handling facilities and we think traffic will continue to grow.
"The roads are probably not in the best condition and we are looking to widen them and improve pavement condition for heavy freight as well as passenger vehicles."
Safer Birchip town centre project
Birchip's main street will be reduced from two lanes to one as part of this $480,000 project. Drainage improvements, the installation of turning lanes, improved parking, the introduction of a bike lane and extended median strips are all listed as part of the project.
It is hoped the upgrade will make Cumming Avenue in Birchip less confusing for motorists and increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles.
"This project has been a long-planned project for the Birchip community," Mr Judd said.
"They will also be able to increase the green space and attractiveness of Birchip's streetscape (with this project)."
Corop-Wanalta Road - rehabilitation
More than $2.5 million will be spent on the Corop-Wanalta Road which is used by an increasing number of large commercial vehicles.
Investigations have shown that the road has lost its shape or cracked in parts, which means resealing is required.
The road will also be widened to improve safety and connectivity for trucks and other road users.
Majorca Road - upgrade, stage 3
Major truck line Majorca Road will be widened as part of a $525,000 project. The road is a link to Maryborough from the south and used by heavy transport who access the AG Leech Industrial Estate.
Rodborough Road - stabilisation
Almost two kilometers of Rodborough Road with be stablised and resealed at a cost of $450,000. The road provides link access to the Pyrenees Highway and has seen an increase in transport traffic due to the expansion of a nearby chicken farm.
Avoca Road, Talbot - renewal and upgrade, stage 2
Considered a key road for linking the Pyrenees Highway to the Ballarat-Maryborough Road, the renewal and upgrading of Avoca Road will continue, with an additional $693,000 in funding allocated.
Trees are set to be removed as the shoulders at McIntyre's Road are prepared for future widening of the entire road.
Burke Street, Maryborough - upgrade
A section of Burke Street, in Maryborough's town centre, will be brought up to the standard of Central Goldfields Shire's road management plan.
The $426,000 project involves renewing the road surface, kerbs, footpaths and school crossings. It is expected to improve the access to the front of St Augustine's Primary School where buses and parents drop off and pick up students.
CITY OF GREATER BENDIGO
Costerfield Road, Heathcote North - dust suppression
Naturally occurring heavy metal antimony, which can have adverse health effects for residents, will be reduced by this $110,000 project. The road will be graded and sealed to minimise the dust that settles on roofs and washes into rain water tanks.
City of Greater Bendigo manager of engineering said all five of council's Fixing Country Roads Program applications were funded.
"In looking at putting the together application, there are probably few projects that were a good opportunity to get that state government funding for," he said.
"For Costerfield Road, we had previous discussions with state government departments around the public health challenges there.
"That's about minimising the risk (antimony) on residents, so it is good to address that."
Obriens Lane, Axedale - road construction
Running off McIvor Highway to a low-density residential development, this road will become a two-way sealed road designed to accommodate steadily increasing traffic volumes.
The $1.08 million project will also include removal of vegetation.
"Obriens Lane is our highest trafficked gravel road in the municipality," Mr Martini said. "So (sealing) that was the top of list for gravel road projects.
"(That road has been used more) with continued residential growth in the Axedale and Longlea area."
Ellis Street, Bendigo - separated bike path
An on road two-way separated bike path has been designed for residents and cyclists who use La Trobe University and Bendigo South East College.
Costing $300,000, the path will go along the south side of Ellis Street, from Somerville to Sharon Street. It has been designed after consultation with the community, Bike Bendigo, BSE College and La Trobe University.
Averys Road/Jobs Gully Road, Eaglehawk - roundabout construction
Increasing residential development in the Jobs Gully Road area has seen traffic increase significantly. It is estimated traffic on Jobs Gully Road has more than doubled in recent years, with nearly 4000 vehicles using it a day. The current intersection will have a roundabout constructed to improve traffic flow and safety at a cost of $775,000.
"With the growth of the Jackass Flat subdivisions putting pressure on that staggered cross intersection, we have had concerns about people navigating it," Mr Martini said. "The roundabout has been on the cards for some time and will be principally funded between us, the state government and a contribution from the developer. That area will only continue to grow as the Jackass Flat area (grows)."
Lockington Road, Elmore - pavement reconstruction
Existing road bitumen on Lockington Road, Elmore, has reached the end of its life span. This $1.036 million project will reconstruct the existing pavement and widen the road for B-Doubles and other local traffic, including school buses.
"Elmore is the simplest project for us as it is purely based on the condition of the road, which is at the end of its life," Mr Martini said. "This was an opportunity to get some more funding to extend the amount of road we can rehabilitate."
Loddon Shire Narrow Seals and Safety Package
Several sections of Echuca-Serpentine Road will be upgraded and the intersection of Prairie Road will be reconscructed in this $1.5 million project.
The first part will be to realign the intersection at Echuca-Serpentine Road and Prairie Road and also improve signage and road safety barriers. Secondly, parts of the Echuca-Seperentine Road will be widened and rehabilitated to improve access to southern parts of Loddon Shire.
Loddon Shire director of operations, Steve Phillips, said Echuca-Serpentine Road has had issues.
"There has been a couple of crashes there," he said. "It's not a great intersection and this gives us the opportunity to improve the safety of the road. We are grateful for the funds."
MACEDON RANGES SHIRE
Kyneton-Metcalfe Road - rehabilitation
Road widening, reconstruction and resealing is planned for 800m of Kyneton-Metcalfe Road. The road is designated as a strategic route and the $350,000 project will provide better access to the Calder Highway for for heavy vehicles.
Station Street, Clarkefield - rehabilitation
Existing surfaces will be widened on Station Road to improve access to the railway station. Costing $440,000, the road will be reconstructed, resealed and widened from six metres to 6.6 metres.
Lauriston Reservoir Road - rehabilitation
Linking traffic to the Lauriston Reservoir, this $480,000 project will increase the road width to 7.6 metres (from 5.8 metres). The road services the town, farming zones, equestrian centres and recreational areas.
Lauriston Road - rehabilitation
The $350,000 development of Lauriston Road will provide a strategic east-west link with the town. It provides access to nearby Malmsbury Reservoir as well as access to and from the Calder Freeway.
MOUNT ALEXANDER SHIRE
Bendigo-Sutton Grange Road - rehabilitation and safety works
This $1.93 million project will deliver safety and rehabilitation works to three parts of the Bendigo-Sutton Grange Road starting with the intersection of Faraday-Sutton Grange Road. Improvements will be made to the road's geometry, safety features, road width and drainage.
Road geometry will also be improved in the area of Grays Road, which will have its surface renewed and overgrown vegetation removed. Finally, Jennings Hill Road will have 1.5km of road renewed along with drainage and geometry improvements.
The Bendigo-Sutton Grange Road has proven to be a popular route for commuters looking to avoid the Calder Highway.
"With these upgrades, we re taking significant steps towards improving the safety of this busy intersection," Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas said. "Its all about ensuring regional communities have access to high-quality roads so people in our community can get home sooner and safer."
North Harcourt Road - rehabilitation
Roadside drainage, barriers and vegetation removal as well as widening a 1.1 kilometre part of North Harcourt Road will be addressed as part of this $600,000 project.
As a school bus route and popular road for cycling, this nine kilometre stretch has been identified as requiring works due to its high-speed environment, narrow seal and high number of trees close to the road.
Specimen Gully Road - upgrade
Road reconstruction will be undertaken on Specimen Gully Road between the Midland Highway and Blakely Road in Barkers Creek. It has had long-standing issues with maintenance and drainage, making the $450,000 project necessary.
Regular grading has been required due to high vehicle numbers, poor-quality road material and a deteriorating road profile. It is expected to provide a road capable of handling the traffic growth.
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