The downgrading in priority of building a new bridge between Yarrawonga and Mulwala has left members of the green route action group disappointed and dumbfounded.
Spokesperson John Lawless said the group had met with VicRoads North East Regional Manager Nicki Kyriakou last Wednesday to discuss the report.
“The lack of consultation is disappointing,” Mr Lawless said.
“If you are going to spend mega bucks on a report like this you would think they would consult everyone and get decent feedback from the community.
“When the weir closes, the traffic directed onto the old traffic bridge will be massive and heavy vehicles will be affected even more.
“The main concern should be to get the alignment right so that we eliminate all these problems you are going to see emerge when the weir bridge closes.
“You would have thought that the fact the weir bridge is closing in 2020 and that 20-30 per cent of the overall traffic then comes onto the traffic bridge it would have upped the rating in the report.
“It would be common sense to think that it would have then rated it as a higher priority.”
Mr Lawless said freight transport needs for business and farms are continuing to grow in the area and the closest option to cross the river is at Corowa, 50km away.
“It is pretty obvious you are going to need a direct alignment for A-Double and B-Triple trucks and the only alignment that caters for that is the green route,” he added.
Mr Lawless said that on the current main traffic bridge two B-Doubles can’t even pass safely on its narrowed section where the girders are located.
“With the grain export container terminal being built in Benalla Road this will attract a lot more grain and a lot will come from the north,” he said.
Mr Lawless also expressed concern on how Thales will manage their trucks across the river heading towards their sister facility in Benalla.
“It’s a real concern and I am sure they will want answers also.”
Mr Lawless is concerned that due to safety issues the community could end up with a one lane, open bridge crossing.