Contract decided for $1.5 million final leg of Wodonga's inner ring road

WORK is set to start on the final stage of Wodonga’s inner ring road, a $1.5 million extension to Havelock Street.

It will be stretched northwards from the Huon Hill hotel over old railway land behind the city’s bowling club to Osburn Street.

Construction firm Excell Gray Bruni was this week awarded a $1.5 million tender for the project by Wodonga Council.

Planning and infrastructure director Leon Schultz said he expected movement at the site by the end of September.

“We’re expecting to have a contractor in place in the next four to five weeks,” Mr Schultz said.

“It may not be full blown construction, but there will be some surveying work and setting out done.”

No longer a road to nowhere: The top end of Havelock Street, with Huon Hill hotel in the background. It is set to be extended to form Wodonga's inner ring road.

No longer a road to nowhere: The top end of Havelock Street, with Huon Hill hotel in the background. It is set to be extended to form Wodonga's inner ring road.

The city is paying $520,000 to rail manager VicTrack for the land and its title is being transferred to road reserve status.

The federal government is jointly funding the work, with the council setting aside $500,000 to allow for changes “only when absolutely required”.

Past mayor Rodney Wangman lauded the project.

“It is pleasing that the work that will be undertaken with this project will again allow our community to be able to step across what once upon a time used to cut this city in half – the old rail line,” Cr Wangman said.

“It will further network our community to make it much easier to move around.”

The Havelock Street extension is due to be completed by March under the terms of the tender contract agreement.

The trial of the council’s planned 20km/h shared zone in High Street will not proceed before the ring road is complete.

Mr Schultz said the speed along the new section was likely to be 50km/h, subject to consultation with traffic engineers.

Meanwhile, a plan to extend South Street to link with the extended Havelock Street remains under consideration despite the fate of the Wodonga Brass Band hall remaining unclear.

“It hasn’t been abandoned, it is still on our minds, but the band will need to be relocated before we can complete the connection of that short section of the road between Hovell Street and Havelock Street,” Mr Schultz said.

He declined to put a timeframe on when that project might be carried out.