New row on route for Yarrawonga-Mulwala bridge

THE Mulwala Progress Association is urging the Corowa Council to abandon its preferred route for the replacement Yarrawonga-Mulwala bridge.

Association president Robert Purtle wants an urgent meeting with the council which favours the “grey” option next to the existing bridge.

But the association is backing the “green” option — near the weir bridge, which is earmarked for closure by the Murray Darling Basin Authority.

The Moira Council recently backed the “green” option which would cause the least disruption to waterfront property owners in Yarrawonga’s Irvine Parade.

A decision on the preferred route has been in limbo for another year.

Under the original timetable, the route was to be settled this year and included in the Corowa and Moira councils’ planning schemes.

Mr Purtle said the association had written to the Corowa Council, seeking a meeting. It had even floated the idea of retaining the old bridge for pedestrians and cyclists after a new bridge is expected to be completed in 2020.

“The councillors aren’t really representing us at all,” Mr Purtle said.

“They are not listening to anyone in Mulwala and won’t come and have a meeting with us.

“All we want to know are the reasons for their choice.

“But commonsense has got to prevail somewhere along the line.”

Corowa mayor Fred Longmire said his council’s position had been known for almost two years and the association had had plenty of time to raise its concerns.

Cr Longmire said Corowa and Moira had met three times to discuss the bridge route.

“We are now one second to midnight on a decision and all of a sudden we are in the gun,” he said.

“Where have they been all this time?”

Cr Longmire said he had attended an association get-together on December 3 and the bridge route wasn’t raised in a formal sense.

He predicted an announcement on the bridge route would be made in the first three months of next year.

“This has been going on for two years,” he said.

“We are locked in and won’t change.”

The “grey” route follows the Melbourne Street alignment in Mulwala before traffic is diverted away from Belmore Street in Yarrawonga and along Irvine Parade.

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