COROWA Council has been left one out in support of the grey route for the Yarrawonga-Mulwala replacement bridge after member for Albury Greg Aplin yesterday backed the green route.
Mr Aplin’s long-awaited position on the bridge route adds to the backing for the green route from member for Murray Valley Tim McCurdy and Moira Council.
The local member said his opinion was based on three factors — long-term traffic planning, tourism development and road safety.
“This is a once in a 100-year project and it is important that the new bridge will serve the needs of the both communities for a long time,” he said.
“Tourism is the lifeblood of Mulwala and Yarrawonga and the opportunities for increased employment, development and promotion are better served by the green route.
“I also believe that road safety concerns are better addressed by the green route.”
In late April, Mr McCurdy stated his support for the green route, which he described as a practical way to keep traffic out of Yarrawonga’s Belmore Street.
It would be situated near the current weir crossing, which is earmarked for closure in 2020.
The grey route would be built next to the bridge linking Belmore Street in Yarrawonga and Melbourne Street in Mulwala.
“I appreciate the extensive work being undertaken by VicRoads and RMS and understand that different opinions may be reached for different reasons,” Mr Aplin said.
“I note that Corowa Council has expressed a preference for the grey route and I know the mayor, councillors, general manager and staff have worked hard on this difficult project for many years.”
The choice of the green route would boost the chances of the current traffic bridge being retained for pedestrian and recreational purposes.
Corowa mayor Fred Longmire warned Mr Aplin of the ramifications of keeping the current bridge.
“The question that needs to be asked is will the NSW Government look after the current bridge forever?” Cr Longmire said.
Mr Aplin said keeping the current bridge was a “completely separate matter”.