EDITORIAL: Works vital to keep down toll
A MURRAY Valley Highway blackspot, the scene of several serious crashes, including a fatality early last year, is about to be erased.
Turning lanes and a traffic island will be built at the intersection of the highway with the Barnawartha-Howlong Road at a cost of $800,000.
A Urana motorist, 32, died at the intersection, six kilometres north of Barnawartha, in January last year. His car hit a stationary utility waiting to turn right from the highway on to the Barnawartha road.
Nearby resident Ray Fisher said he was “thrilled to bits” with the announcement.
“It will be a vast improvement,” he said.
Mr Fisher said residents had pushed for the intersection to be improved for years.
“We are happy with everything they plan to do there,” he said.
“I am glad there is finally money to fix it.”
The member for Benambra, Bill Tilley, said the safety work would involve the realignment of the western approach to the intersection, the installation of a traffic-splitting island on Barnawartha-Howlong Road, right turning lanes on the Murray Valley Highway and more line marking.
He hoped the work would prevent crashes at the intersection.
“This work is very important when you consider our loved ones use these country roads,” he said.
“But no matter how much we spend on the infrastructure, drivers must never forget to drive appropriately to the conditions and pay attention.”
Mr Tilley also said $434,000 would be spent on the Kiewa Valley Highway-Running Creek Road intersection, at Running Creek.
“These works will help minimise run-off-the-road type accidents,” Mr Tilley said.
He said the work would involve installing wire-rope safety barriers and guardrail to meet the required height, sealing the road shoulders and drainage to better remove water from the road.
He said he expected the works to start this year.