Work starts on $2.2 million Thomas Mitchell Drive upgrade in Wodonga

READY TO ROLL: Wodonga Council's Theo Panagopoulos, left, and Excell Gray Bruni director Geoff Hayes in Thomas Mitchell Drive. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

READY TO ROLL: Wodonga Council's Theo Panagopoulos, left, and Excell Gray Bruni director Geoff Hayes in Thomas Mitchell Drive. Picture: ELENOR TEDENBORG

THE $2.2 million upgrade of Thomas Mitchell Drive in Wodonga will be completed in three stages and be finished by April next year.

First stage works between the Chapple Street roundabout and Jack In The Box Creek commenced on Monday and will be completed by Christmas.

The main road will be closed during this period with all traffic diverted onto the service roads.

Thomas Mitchell Drive businesses including North East Water have been forced to alert customers to revised traffic conditions due to the works.

Excell Gray Bruni will carry out the works which will include central median strip, right turn lanes, kerbing, pavement, lighting, bus stop and pedestrian crossing.

Wodonga Council's infrastructure and works manager Theo Panagopoulos said traffic management would be in place throughout the project.

"During stage one, those coming from Anzac Parade or the Bandiana Link road can come through the Chapple Street roundabout and down the westbound service road to the city centre," he said.

"For those coming from the Wodonga CBD or Wigg Street end, it will mean travelling down the eastbound service lane, to the Chapple Street roundabout, going around the roundabout and back down the westbound service road.

"In some cases, it may be easier to use an alternative route down Lawrence Street to the east or Victoria Cross Parade to the west."

Thomas Mitchell Drive was the scene of a fatal accident five years ago.

A 57-year-old truck driver was killed at the intersection of Thomas Mitchell Drive and Docking Street.

The upgrade was the first announced in Victoria under the federal government's commitment of $500 million to fixing road black spots under a program announced in last year's budget.

Federal assistant minister for infrastructure and regional development Jamie Briggs travelled to Wodonga for the $1.7 million funding announcement alongside Indi Liberal candidate Sophie Mirabella and mayor Rod Wangman.

The council provided the balance of the funding.

Stage two works will be across Jack in the Box Creek and the third stage is the final section to Wigg Street.

Thomas Mitchell Drive is one of Wodonga's busiest roads with an estimated 8700 drivers using it daily.