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Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Bye bye bridge?

The existing Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge will be removed following an “in principle” agreement from both roads authorities and Moira and Corowa shire councils, according to VicRoads.

RACHEAL WILLETT February 11, 2014 3:26pm

The statement came from VicRoads North Eastern Director Bryan Sherritt in response to questions about a selection of a route for the new crossing.

“It is important to note when the new bridge is constructed that the existing bridge will be removed,” Mr Sherritt said.

“The Murray-Darling Basin Authority has indicated that the Yarrawonga Weir will be closed to traffic from 2020.

“The proposed new bridge will be the only road connection between Yarrawonga and Mulwala and it is vital that the route selected supports the viability of both Yarrawonga and Mulwala.”

Previously, when it came to questions on the future of the existing ‘traffic’ bridge, VicRoads and the RMS had simply said it would be “decommissioned” by the roads authorities as it was deemed not to be economical to maintain two crossings.

That would make the bridge no longer part of the arterial roads system and therefore it would have to be maintained jointly by Moira and Corowa councils should it stay.

During the public consultation process on the selection for a new bridge route, the RMS (then the Roads and Traffic Authority) said at a public meeting the existing bridge cost “in the order of $400,000 per annum to maintain”.

Neither council has ever committed publicly to the shared cost of maintaining the bridge.

In seeking clarification of the decision to remove the bridge, Mr Sherritt advised “at a joint project meeting, held late last year, between representatives of both councils and the two road authorities, it was agreed in principle that the existing bridge would be removed.”

Mr Sherritt said VicRoads was continuing to work with stakeholders with a view to established a preferred route for the new Yarrawonga-Mulwala bridge by mid-2014.

 “The preferred bridge route needs to meet local community needs along with existing and future transport requirements,” he said.

“Further work has been done by VicRoads to model the implications of traffic flow of each of the suggested routes. A detailed understanding of the traffic impact of all the options is very important in making an informed decision.

“This information is currently being presented to stakeholders, including local Members, Councils and community groups.

 “Once a final decision on the preferred route is made, work can commence on planning for the construction of the new bridge.”

                                                   

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