By Mitchell Clarke
A large bus company has joined the chorus of complaining Iona residents, pleading with Cardinia Shire Council to take urgent action on Fallon Road.
A mix of deep and shallow potholes were reported strewn across the highly used linkage road which is used by Warragul Bus Lines, farmers and local residents daily.
Bus driver Bob Lowry drives on the road daily and has said the road is currently in good shape but believes it’s only a matter of time before it returns to its un-driveable state.
“It’s a nightmare in the way of potholes, you’ve got to take extra caution because if you try and drive with speed, you’ll only damage your vehicle,” Mr Lowry said.
“You’ve just got to guess the part which has the shallowest hole to minimise your damage.”
Cardinia Shire Council general manager infrastructure and environment Peter Benazic said they were aware of resident concerns regarding the unsealed road and said work had recently been completed.
“This rural road is a flat area that can be subject to temporary inundation and some water over the road following very heavy rainfall,” Mr Benazic said.
“The unsealed road maintenance schedule is carefully prepared according to the current conditions and forecasts, which are based on road service and performance history data.
“Roads that are used more often are graded more, and those roads that have fewer cars are graded less often.”
But Mr Lowry believes a more permanent solution is necessary.
“If they don’t want to tar it, which is a very costly exercise, maybe heavier gravel is needed,” he said.
“I’m no road engineer, so I’m not sure what solutions they could use, but it appears this will continue to be a consistent circle.
“They’ll get it repaired, we’ll get some bad weather and they’re going to have to do it again.”
Meanwhile, at its worst, the road is completely un-driveable, with one resident providing photos of the road completely flooded.
“Images of flooding provided appear to be of the major floods that occurred during 2011, when the area experienced unusually heavy rainfall. Council is unaware of any recent concerns of this nature,” Mr Benazic said.
But the resident who took the photos said they were taken on 9 and 16 September of this year.
“I think the shire is just looking for excuses,” she said.
“Anything you can write would be good as it appears it doesn’t matter what we, as residents do, they don’t seem to listen.”
She believes the flooding will occur every time there is sufficient rain as the road is lower than the paddocks due to all the times it has been graded.
“The only way that I see they can fix it is by building it up with heaps of rock and making it solid,” she said.
Cardinia Shire Council have recently put in place a new data-driven system, which uses existing data to better predict how often each road should have works done.