Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

McSwains Rd widening review to go ahead

Campaspe Shire will review the need to widen a section of McSwains Rd, Echuca.

TRENT HORNEMAN July 18, 2014 3:38am

A car which ran off the side of McSwains Rd earlier this month.

Campaspe Shire will review a section of McSwains Rd which residents are seeking to have widened.

At a meeting in Echuca on Tuesday, councillors received a petition of 27 signatures wanting the road widened between Park View Drive and Stratton Rd.

Cr Paul Jarman moved a motion to have officers complete a whole-of-life assessment and cost analysis as to whether the road should remain as is or be upgraded.

Resident Steve Horsburgh spoke to councillors at the meeting, saying the road was in the worst state he could remember in his 30 years as a resident of Stratton Rd.

While council staff recommended councillors reject the request, given Echuca West Primary School would close within five years, Mr Horsburgh said school traffic was only part of the problem.

He said b-double trucks, trucks for nearby turf and cattle farms, as well as school and town bus movements were putting greater pressure on McSwains Rd.

Cr Jarman said council had plans to extend Ogilvie Ave west, which would alleviate some of the congestion on McSwains Rd.

He then moved a motion calling for the study into the road, which he wanted back before council by September.

Cr Jarman said while future plans could mitigate some of the problems, he said council was listening to residents’ concerns and the review was a sensible way forward.

He said council had to make a decision that offered the balance of what was the most financially-sound decision in the long term.

Cr Jarman’s motion also noted the future use of the road which is expected to experience a 30 per cent reduction in traffic volumes when the school moves, as well as the proposed new link between Stratton Rd and the roundabout at the western end of Ogilvie Ave.

Mr Horsburgh said council gave him a fair hearing with the petition and he would now wait until the report comes back to council for discussion.

‘‘The council staff have gone to a lot of work, but I worry that they are relying on the school closing to make the decision, because I had children through the school 20 years ago and it was closing then,’’ he said.

Mr Horsburgh said he would encourage his neighbours to continue pressure on the council about the state of the road.

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