A 2.5km section of sealed road in Corop will be reverted back to gravel despite opposition from some residents.By Elaine Cooney
A 2.5km section of sealed road in Corop will be reverted back to gravel despite opposition from some residents.
The proposal to turn a 2.5km section of Taylor Rd from a sealed road into a gravel surfaced road was first put forward by Campaspe Shire Council at its meeting on September 18.
According to the proposal, Campaspe Shire Council stood to save $82,700 by turning Taylor Rd back to a gravel road instead of replacing the bitumen.
The money saved was proposed to go back into council’s asset renewal reserve for re-allocation to another road renewal project.
The proposal angered some residents, with two peititions and a letter of objection put forward by district residents at last Tuesday’s meeting.
However, council agreed its final decision was to revert the section of Taylor Rd from bitumen to gravel.
Campaspe Shire mayor Ian Maddison said gravel roads needed to be used by 300 motorists a day for it to become a sealed road and Taylor Rd did not have enough traffic to justify a sealed road.
Recent traffic counts taken on Taylor Rd by council indicated low volumes of traffic, with about 10 to 20 vehicles a day and seasonal traffic of up to 30 to 40 vehicles a day, he said.
Cr Maddison said grading the gravel road would be proportional to its use and council would not be liable for gravel damage to cars.
He said everyone would like sealed roads, but it was not always possible.
The $288,000 originally allocated in the 2012-13 budget towards rehabilitating Taylor Rd would be re-allocated as follows: $48,000 to revert Taylor Rd from bitumen to gravel; $157,300 to rehabilitate Hill Rd (west of Johnson Rd) in Corop; and the remaining $82,700 to another road renewal project to be determined by council.
District farmer Andrew Freeman said he was disappointed with council’s decision as he and his neighbours frequently used the road.
‘‘I’m pretty frustrated they have decided to rip it (the bitumen) up,’’ he said.
Gravel roads posed a danger to road users and would cause damage to cars and machinery, he said.
Mr Freeman said there were many gravel roads in the area and residents were lucky to travel 30,000km on a set of tyres.
Often driving along the road with a load of grain and hay, he believes a gravel road would pose a hazard to the area.
‘‘It would be much safer to be (driving) on a sealed road,’’ he said.
‘‘There would be lots of dust which would be a risk to other motorists.’’
Residents would continue with the petition, despite council’s final decision, Mr Freeman said.
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