On road to safer trips

17 Jan 2018 Border Mail, Albury-Wodonga (General News) by Anthony Bunn ROADWORKS will affect the Beechworth-Wodonga Road until the end of July, with a $300,000 underpass for cyclists being installed as part of the $9.85 million project. VicRoads staff briefed Victorian government Upper House MP Jaclyn Symes on plans yesterday. Work started in December on a Wodonga-bound overtaking lane between Edmondson Lane and Star Lane at Wooragee. Complementary safety work at the Yackandandah turn-off from the Beechworth-Wodonga Road will start after Australia Day. It will involve forming a roundabout at the intersection and installing a 20-metre long, 2.7-metre high tunnel for cyclists under the Yackandandah Road. The underpass will be part of the Beechworth to Yackandandah bike rail trail. VicRoads team leader George Lumicisi, who is overseeing the work, said a roundabout would aid safety. There have been three fatal accidents in a five-year period, so the do-nothing option wouldnt be acceptable to the community, Mr Lumicisi said. Large diamond roundabouts are seen as the best way to deal safely with issues at intersections in rural areas. (If you collided) you would much rather be sideswiped at a roundabout than T-boned at an intersection. Downer Australia has the contract for the roundabout and underpass, while North East Civil Construction is forming the overtaking lane. Mr Lumicisi said the road between Beechworth and Yackandandah would also result in wider shoulders and edge barriers. The widening is aimed at catering for cyclists, despite the rail trail eventually running nearby. They cater to two different needs, you tend to find families use rail trails and the trainer cyclists use the roads, Mr Lumicisi said. Ms Symes noted the road was rated in the top-20 most dangerous roads in Victoria. Were getting on with this crucial upgrade to transform Beechworth-Wodonga Road from one of the states riskiest to one of the safest, Ms Symes said. The overtaking lane is expected to be finished by May with the roundabout in place by July. Speed limits will apply during the work, but will return to 100km/h, except for an 80km/h leg from the Chiltern turn-off to Beechworth. VicRoads will have an information stall at this Sundays Yackandandah market from 9am to 1pm. Caption Text: SMOOTHING THE WAY: VicRoads team leader George Lumicisi and regional director Steve McCallum with politician Jaclyn Symes on the Beechworth-Wodonga Road. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.