BUILDING a new bridge over Lake Mulwala alongside the existing railway crossing is cheaper, safer and will have the least impact on residents, according to a former Moira Shire mayor.
John Lawless said the green option he supported would be the shortest distance across the lake between Yarrawonga and Mulwala compared to the yellow and grey options further to the west and still under consideration.
He said money saved from the green option could be spent on building another small bridge across a channel between Irvine Parade and Burley Road which would eliminate the need for heavy trucks to travel through the streets of Yarrawonga.
“They already have got the police station on the Yarrawonga side and land next to the water treatment plant on the Mulwala side,” he said.
“They don’t have to buy land and it would be by far the cheapest route.
“If they go the yellow option they are still going to impact on half the people in Irvine Parade.
“If they go the grey option everyone in Irvine Parade is impacted and all the B-double trucks aren’t all going to go down Irvine Parade.
“They are going to go down the main street of Yarrawonga.”
A secondary existing crossing west of the railway line is closing in 2020 and the main bridge won’t handle the increased traffic.
But, VicRoads won’t announce a preferred route for another 12 months with detailed planning presently under way.
Consultants appointed by VicRoads to look into the impacts of noise, flora and fauna, cultural heritage, hydrology and landscape held a series of face-to-face briefings with Yarrawonga-Mulwala residents yesterday.
Irvine Parade resident Dr Clyde Ronan said he would fight for the discounted red route west of the weir wall.
“All of the three routes under consideration have major impacts on residential amenity,” he said.
“They have removed the red option which has significant difference and no impact on residential amenity.
“They have ruled it out on the basis of poorly researched desk reports in my opinion.”
Mr Lawless said the present bridge was an icon of the two towns and residents would fight for its retention with reduced weight limits.