VICROADS’ North-East chief Bryan Sherritt has left the door slightly ajar for the retention of the existing Yarrawonga-Mulwala bridge when a replacement is finally built across Lake Mulwala.
Corowa and Moira councils and VicRoads and NSW Roads and Maritime Services had previously distanced themselves from maintaining the winding 1924 bridge when the new one is built on the lake.
But the Green Route community group — which favours a route near the weir wall — wants to keep the old bridge for pedestrian and cycling purposes.
“At the current time there has not been a proposal put to VicRoads or RMS about that,” Mr Sherritt said.
“We are open to offers to maintain that bridge.
“But that will be a challenging exercise for any community group to do.”
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Addressing Corowa Council, Mr Sherritt also made one of the first public displays of support by VicRoads for the grey route immediately adjacent the existing bridge.
If the grey route bridge were built, it would effectively end any hope of the old bridge being retained.
“Our view in the VicRoads region is the grey option provides a better outcome for both sides of Lake Mulwala,” he said.
Mr Sherritt gave a presentation outlining the research done to date on the bridge alignments.
It included a 2012 traffic survey made in the busy Easter period and on off-peak tourist time.
“The majority of traffic as shown by a comprehensive traffic survey we carried out indicated that 88 per cent of traffic starts or finishes in Yarrawonga or Mulwala,” he said.
“It is a local connection and the picture I’ve been trying to paint is that it is not a major arterial road running through a town.
“There is a misconception in the community where people are saying there is a lot of through traffic.
“But our survey has revealed the traffic is going to another part of Belmore Street and to other shops predominantly.”
Mr Sherritt said the traffic study involved the recording of number plates and asking people where they were coming from and going to.