By Jessica Anstice
Motorists can expect smoother and safer journeys along 14 roads in the Cardinia Shire following the announcement of council’s Road Development Program.
This comes as wet weather has those travelling on the shire’s 863 kilometres of unsealed roads fuming at the pothole paradise they have to endure.
Council has committed $25m to road sealing which adds to the Federal Government’s commitment of $150m over 10 years for road sealing in Cardinia within the La Trobe electorate.
The roads set to be sealed include Huxtable Road, Hobsons, Soldiers and McGregor Road, Bessie Creek Road, Armytage, LL and Thewlis Road, Boundary, Denhams and Main Drain Road, Dore Road, Evans Road and Mount Lyall Road.
“Most people know that we’ve got a roads challenge in Cardinia,” Cr Brett Owen said.
“There is 863km of unsealed roads in Cardinia which are under increasing pressure due to population growth and a high percentage of commercial vehicles using the road network.
“The increasing demand of the road network reduces service levels, increases maintenance costs and has a detrimental impact on the environment – not to mention adverse feedback from the community on the state of the network.”
Presented to council were 126 roads in desperate need of fixing.
“As councillors we get feedback probably every day based on our roads,” Cr Owen added.
“There has been extensive conversation and debate between councillors and officers in relation to which roads made the list.
“At the moment we’ve got this list, but there could be 50 roads on this list. We had to really dwindle it down to which are the most prioritised roads at this point of time.”
During the meeting on Monday, councillors reassured residents that there is still light at the end of the tunnel, with another roads package to be announced in the “very near future”.
The roads that were close, but didn’t quite make the cut this time were Morrison Road, Mount Burnett Road and Mountain Road.
“This package is not going to fix all the problems, I’d love it to but unfortunately it’s not. This is a start and a move in the right direction.” Cr Jeff Springfield said.
“It was a very tough decision to come down to the roads that were decided upon.”
Deputy mayor Collin Ross added the decision by council was “extremely tough”.
“Everyone has merit and everyone that lives on a dirt road from time to time will have a really bad condition of that road.
“We do empathise with those people.”
– Residents fume at McGregor and Greenhills roads, see page 4.