Wangaratta residents are being asked if their city needs a second bridge.
Member for Ovens Valley Tim McCurdy is conducting a community survey on the matter, after a fallen tree stopped traffic flowing over the Parfitt Road Bridge earlier this year.
"That incident has really sparked conversation in Wangaratta again regarding the issue of having only one vehicle crossing over the Ovens River in town," Mr McCurdy said.
Wangaratta Council director of infrastructure services Marcus Goonan said the latest studies showed a second bridge was not yet necessary in the city.
"It's not something that's needed at the moment," he said.
"Because traffic flows through Wangaratta relatively well, there's a number of other access points to Wangaratta and currently the need is not there."
Mr Goonan said he welcomed community feedback from the survey.
"Hopefully if both federal and state ministers see that it is a priority for the community they commit the funding to make it happen," he said.
"[I'm] really keen to see what comes out of the survey and hopefully we'll be able to get some funding once that's needed."
But Mr Goonan said there'd be significant environmental hurdles and other challenges to a new bridge project.
"If you look at how long they've been advocating for the Echuca to Moama bridge as far as I know that's a 10 to 20 year planning process," he said.
"So I wouldn't assume ours would be too much different."
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Wangaratta mayor Dean Rees said he thought the majority of the city's population would support a second bridge, especially after the tree blocked the only bridge in July.
"It blocked the incoming traffic out and everyone was saying how the hell do we get into Wangaratta," he said.
"That's only a short term pain for a couple of hours until the tree was cleared and there are other accesses into Wangaratta around on the freeway, but any residents in North Wang that's a huge trip for them."
Mr Rees said the rapid growth of the city meant that a second bridge would eventually be important.
"Especially with COVID the amount of Melbourne people moving to Wangaratta because of our great health care ...or what the town physically has in relation to shopping and business, it's only becoming more populated," he said.
"And it's just going to cause more troubles in the future.
"It's probably physically not needed for the amount of traffic at the moment, but let's get on the front foot and say yes, a second bridge would be better," he said.
"For our town to grow and continue to grow into the future, the second bridge crossing would be helpful.
"I can see it's a process that would take 20 years or more, but if we don't start it now, when it comes time that we desperately need it, we'll be 20 years behind."
The survey will be posted to all households in Wangaratta and can be completed online through a QR code or posted back.
Results will be collated and shared with the community.
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