Improved safety

07 Jun 2018 Ovens and Murray Advertiser, Wangaratta VIC (General News) by Justin Jenvey CONSTRUCTION of the new roundabout and overtaking lane on Beechworth-Wodonga Road and an underpass on the Beechworth to Yackandandah Rail Trail are now complete. The three features are set to greatly improve safety for motorists and cyclists on one of Victorias most dangerous roads. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria), announced the completion of works yesterday on the $9.6 million upgrade of BeechworthWodonga Road between Beechworth and the Yackandandah Road intersection. The new roundabout will make it easier for drivers and cyclists to travel through the intersection of Yackandandah and Beechworth-Wodonga roads. Traffic flow for Wodonga-bound traffic will be improved with the new overtaking lane between Edmondson Lane and Star Lane. A safer speed limit of 80km/h was also recently introduced through the town of Wooragee. The other feature at the intersection is an underpass on the $12 million Beechworth to Yackandandah Rail Trail project. Indigo Shire Council contributed $250,000 to have the underpass included in that section of the trail and worked closely with VicRoads to save time and money. Between June 2010 and August 2016, there were 13 crashes along this stretch of road, including five deaths and 14 serious injuries. Other safety improvements include widening the centreline to prevent head-on crashes, installing left-hand-side flexible safety barriers to prevent run-off-road crashes, and applying rumble strip line-marking to alert drivers if they stray from their lane. Ms Symes said the new roundabout will improve safety for drivers and cyclists at this notorious intersection and the new overtaking lane will provide a safer opportunity to overtake. This section of Beechworth-Wodonga Road is being transformed from one of the most dangerous roads in the state to a much safer connection for the community, she said. A second stage of works, from the township of Wooragee to Balaclava Road in Beechworth, is currently undergoing detailed design while the entire package of upgrades is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2018. Indigo Shire Council mayor Jenny OConnor said she was impressed with the quality of the roadworks and thrilled with the outcome of the rail trail underpass. VicRoads and Indigo Shire Council worked together in good spirit to merge two separate projects from two separate levels of government, saving time and money, she said. Our journeys across Indigo Shire whether on two wheels or four will now be safer, more comfortable and more enjoyable. This roundabout and underpass is a really important component of the rail trail, allowing users to safely cross a major road. The Beechworth to Yackandandah Rail Trail project has been funded with $12 million from the Victorian government and will be built from Beechworth to Yackandandah, then onto Osbornes Flat. Indigo Shire is currently in the process of preparing planning applications, and has been busy preparing the projects coming stages well into 2019.