Hotham Road Update from VicRoads
VicRoads Media Release
4 March 2013
Great Alpine Road open for the Labour Day long weekend
VicRoads will open the Great Alpine Road to light traffic for the Labour Day long weekend, despite the ongoing maintenance and recovery works required after the Harrietville – Alpine North bushfires.
VicRoads Regional Director Graham Freestone said after regaining control over the road on 21 February, the focus was on clearing the road of fallen trees, debris and rubble to enable ground crews into the area for a more thorough damage assessment and clean up.
“A landslip blocking the road just five kilometres north of Harrietville last week set the efforts of the clean-up crews back. However the slip site has been cleared over the weekend displaying the damage to the road surface, minor cracking and the extent of the wash out under the road verge.”
“An assessment by VicRoads’ geotechnical experts over the weekend has found the road structure is sufficiently stable to carry vehicles, subject to traffic being diverted onto the inside lane only.”
“However the curve radius is insufficient to allow heavy vehicles, semi-trailers or buses, with an overall length in excess of eight metres, to pass the site safely,” Mr Freestone said.
“VicRoads will remove as much loose material as possible on the up slope side to widen the lane and to allow light vehicles, such as cars and motorcycles, rigid trucks or buses up to 23 tonnes and 8 metres in length to pass the site for the Labour Day long weekend.”
“Overall, there are three slip sites requiring remedial work therefore, for the safety of the crews as well as for drivers, partial lane closures and speed restrictions will apply at various locations. Drivers will have to expect delays over the long weekend.”
“Due to the high risk and probability of burnt trees falling over the road, access to the Great Alpine Road will be limited to daylight hours between 7am and 7pm only. This is to ensure the safety of drivers, as visibility will be greatly reduced after dark.”
VicRoads’ Eastern and North Eastern TSS officers will coordinate escorts for the cattle trucks to access the cattle market in Omeo via the Benambra-Corryong Road or the Bogong High Plains Road. Details of this arrangement will be discussed directly with the freight industry and communicated accordingly.
“I encourage tourists and locals alike to visit the alpine region and make the most of the beautiful landscape. However, drivers should be aware of possible delays due to the ongoing rectification work.”
“There are alternative routes to Mt Hotham via Omeo or via Falls Creek and the Bogong High Plains Road which are open and provide tourists with another scenic route into the alpine region.”
VicRoads is working closely with DSE in addressing the fire killed trees on the up slopes of the road which are on Crown Land or in the National Park.
“More than 300 white guide posts, approximately 150 orange guide posts and 150 road signs will need to be replaced, while line marking will have to be carried out to reinstate the road to current standards and for the safety of drivers.”
Information about road closures can be found on the VicRoads website at: www.vicroads.vic.gov.au.
VicRoads Regional Communications Officer Dina Jones
Tel.: 5761 1836
04 March 2013
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