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Bridge decision by end of August

VicRoads and the NSW Roads and Maritime Services will make a recommendation on the preferred crossing for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge by the end of August.

RACHEAL WILLETT July 15, 2014 3:54pm

The roads authority recommendation will be submitted to the Victorian and NSW governments for a final decision to be made.

VicRoads Regional Director Bryan Sherritt thanked the community for their interest and feedback on the bridge crossing options during the most recent and final round of consultation.

“Representatives from VicRoads and Roads and Maritime Services recently spent time at various locations in Yarrawonga and Mulwala, over a four week period, providing information on the bridge crossing options and obtaining feedback from the community,” Mr Sherritt said.

“We have spoken to around 500 members of the community during the past month which is a pleasing result and we thank people for taking the time to come and talk to us.”

Mr Sherritt said that the project team will now collate all of the feedback received and prepare a recommendation based on that information, together with the detailed studies, analysis, modelling and previous consultation with stakeholders and the community.

“It’s vital that the outcome we recommend will meet the community and transport needs for the future,” he said.

“While I appreciate that people’s opinions on a preferred crossing are divided, I can assure the communities of Yarrawonga and Mulwala that we will be thorough in our considerations and will be making our recommendation based on the information we have gathered and our expertise as road specialists.

“It is important now to get on with the job of submitting a recommendation for consideration by the respective governments so that work can commence on securing funding to build the crossing.

“Part of the feedback provided as a result of the consultation process was that many people want this project to progress and an outcome decided,” concluded Mr Sherritt.

Community consultation summary;

Approximately 500 people attended in person the community information sessions which were held in Yarrawonga and Mulwala, at various locations, between 28 May and 22 June 2014.

More than 2,000 hard copy project update brochures were handed out in the communities of Yarrawonga and Mulwala.

85 written surveys/responses were received, inclusive of those received via the online consultation hub.

A summary of the broad themes of the feedback follows:

• Those who prefer the grey route believe it would provide better access to Belmore Street and the east of Yarrawonga, while those not in favour of the grey route believe it would lead to more traffic in Belmore Street and congestion particularly at the lake end of the street.

• Those who prefer the green route believe it’s the best way to bypass both towns to keep trucks out of Belmore Street and Melbourne Street. Those not in favour of the green route believe it would lead to more congestion down local streets such as Piper Street and McNally Street.

• There was concern about the impact of removing the majority of traffic from Belmore Street and how this might impact on traders and retailers.

• Bridge location, width and capacity all linking to safety is a concern to many in the community.

• For the majority of those that responded their main reason for crossing between Yarrawonga and Mulwala is for leisure or social purposes.

• Many people want to remove light and heavy vehicle traffic out of Belmore Street.

• Some would like to see the current pedestrian link between the Mulwala Bridge and the Yarrawonga Weir retained, particularly for pedestrians who enjoy walking the “loop”.

• The feedback received in the face to face sessions highlighted that there were a number of misconceptions about the impacts of each of the options. For example, some people changed their view when they understood that the Grey B route did not result in traffic being funnelled down Belmore Street; or that the pedestrian link will be retained with a new bridge; or that the current bridge doesn’t need to be removed to accommodate the Grey B route.

• The fate of the current bridge has a significant bearing on which crossing option people prefer.

• Many of the people spoken to don’t have a preference either way, they are just keen for an outcome.

• Feedback indicated that the differences in travel time by car were not of great concern however changes in travel time to pedestrians was a high concern.

A summary of the results of the feedback received during the community consultation is available at www.vicroads.vic.gov.au

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