West Wodonga businesses up in arms over Hume Freeway intersection changes

VICROADS have resisted intense pressure to order a halt to works at a major intersection of the Hume Freeway following a revolt from business owners in West Wodonga to the plans.

VicRoads regional director Nicki Kyriakou

VicRoads regional director Nicki Kyriakou

The roads authority has acknowledged the negative feedback, but confirmed works being done in conjunction with a service station development would proceed on Monday.

Wodonga Council has also washed its hands of the issue.

Twin City Truck Centre dealer principal Chris Dziedzic said he was blindsided by both the start to the works and also the re-designed intersection.

It will require vehicles including large trucks to travel beyond the existing intersection and use turning lanes in the freeway median to cross the freeway into McKoy Street.

"This is a serious death-trap on a national highway,” Mr Dziedzic said.

"It's all about safety and nothing else.

"It's ludicrous what has happened and the only solution is to do a flyover.”

North East Forklift Services director Chris Lindhe said his company moved to McKoy Street a decade ago due to ease of freeway access.

He was shocked by the lack of community consultation for such a major change.

"We were given no opportunity to put forward suggestions and make comment regarding the design,” he said.

"We believe it is going to be very restrictive to our trade during the construction stage and dangerous to use there after.

"Under this design you've got a very restrictive area where trucks will be turning.”

VicRoads regional director Nicki Kyriakou said the changes would make the intersection safer and prevent serious crashes.

Member for Benambra Bill Tilley fired off a letter to Victorian roads minister Luke Donnellan on Friday requesting the works be stopped.

“I understand there is a service station that needs to improve this intersection in the short term, but the real solution is well beyond their means,” Mr Tilley said.

“My letter has urged him to contact the federal government and start talking about a flyover.

“Perhaps there is a role here for the member for Indi, Cathy McGowan.

“A flyover delivers the necessary safety outcomes, doesn’t slow traffic and has the added benefit of removing a level crossing on the North East rail line.

“I don’t accept that the safety of those travelling the major route between Sydney and Melbourne, nor our local businesses and community, can be compromised.”