How vehicles will access the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge, built on the grey route, to and from Belmore Street continues to be an unanswered question and VicRoads has been unable to shed any further light on the intersection design.
Design plans for the intersection at the northern end of Belmore Street have not been released publically by VicRoads at any stage throughout the bridge planning project.
Also, despite being questioned about the intersection on several occasions by the Yarrawonga Chronicle, VicRoads has never provided any details about the intersection in terms of vehicle access to the new bridge.
In support of the grey route (directly alongside the existing bridge) with the ‘B’ connection (from the bridge, down Irvine Parade to the Murray Valley Highway) VicRoads states the selection “removes through-traffic and reduces congestion in Belmore Street” and “provides an alternate freight route removing trucks from Belmore Street”.
A recently circulated Yarrawonga Mulwala Bridge Newsletter VicRoads also states that the route “provides the shortest travel route for pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles between Melbourne and Belmore streets”.
Opponents of the grey route have suggested that what VicRoads is not revealing is that vehicles will not be able to directly access the new bridge, heading to Mulwala, from Belmore Street.
Instead, it has been suggested vehicles would likely have to be detoured along a residential street, perhaps Piper Street, and ‘loop’ around onto Irvine Parade to get onto the new bridge.
To try to shed some light on the issue, the Yarrawonga Chronicle posed a series of direct questions to VicRoads in relation to the design, and more specifically the access, of the Belmore Street to bridge intersection, as follows;
‘Can you provide any information on the design of that intersection?’
‘If not in detail, can you confirm that vehicles on approach from Yarrawonga would have to detour from Belmore Street to come back along Irvine Parade to get to the bridge?’
‘Or will vehicles be able to get directly on and off the bridge from the Belmore Street intersection?’
In response, VicRoads North Eastern Regional Director Nicki Kyriakou said further traffic modelling and community consultation needed to be undertaken before the design of the new intersection.
“Further traffic modelling is being undertaken to ensure that the Murray Valley Highway connection to the new bridge will cater for the current and future needs of Yarrawonga and Mulwala,” Ms Kyriakou said.
“This will include a detailed assessment of traffic counts and movements.
“The intersection design will consider this data and the feedback from the community and industry to ensure it satisfies the needs of all road users and meets the safety standards.”
Ms Kyriakou said the community would be consulted on the final design as the project progresses.
She also said the community could expect to hear more from VicRoads in coming months once the referral for the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) to the Department of Transport, Planning and Local Infrastructure is finalised in October.
VicRoads hosted the second of two community information sessions on the Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge project in Belmore Street last Thursday.
Ms Kyriakou said around 60 to 70 people had taken the opportunity to attend the sessions in Mulwala and Yarrawonga and speak to VicRoads representatives, including herself.
She said among the main issues raised were the design of intersections connecting the bridge and connection to the Murray Valley Highway, access for vehicles to the growth corridor of Yarrawonga east and maintaining access between Yarrawonga and Mulwala while the new bridge is built.