Maroondah Highway (Black Spur) tree removal and safety works

We’re working to improve safety for all road users on Maroondah Highway (Black Spur) between Healesville and Narbethong.

Project update - March 2020

Following an arborist assessment that identified the need to remove 98 unstable trees and prune large limbs from 28 additional trees, we are currently undertaking a significant program of essential tree removal on the Black Spur.

These works will involve the intermittent closure of the Black Spur throughout March, April and May.  

Since we began the tree removal work, a range of restrictions have been put in place to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and save lives.

These restrictions include the closure of non-essential business and Victorians are being asked to stay home where they can.

While we had planned to halt works over the school holiday period, it is now important that we continue and complete these essential works for the safety of everyone who uses the Black Spur.

The Spur will be open each morning, afternoon and from Friday – Sunday to ensure essential services can operate during this time. 

About the project 

Tree removal works

Following a series of serious incidents that involved trees falling on the Spur, we engaged an independent arborist to assess all trees within 20 metres of the centreline of the road, between Healesville and Narbethong. 

This assessment has identified that 98 trees are considered by the arborist as unstable and need to be removed, while a further 28 need to have large limbs pruned to maintain public safety.

The trees that we need to remove are large Mountain Ash between 50 and 75m tall, that have become unstable due to age and conditions.

We’ll be monitoring the progress of works and future stages of works may be required. We’ll advise the community of further dates of tree removal are required.

While the road is closed for tree removal works, we’ll take the opportunity to undertake patching and repair of the road surface and to install some safety treatments to make it safer for motorcyclists.

Road maintenance

As part of our road maintenance program, we will be repairing and patching certain locations within approx. 21km of the Black Spur.

To maintain the road surface of the Black Spur, we will also be resurfacing 5km between the Fernshaw Picnic Ground and the Dom Dom Saddle Picnic Ground.

To ensure that the new surface is not damaged by heavy equipment used during tree removal works, resurfacing will be completed later in the year during warmer months.

Motorcycle safety improvements

Funded by the TAC’s Motorcycle Levy Program, we will be delivering motorcycle safety improvements along the Black Spur.

This will include:

  • installing advisory speed signs and yellow directional signs
  • installing of new guide posts,
  • installing protective features to improve safety on existing guard fences
  • improving line marking 
  • extending the safety barrier at a high-risk location near Dom Dom Saddle
Black Spur safety works map

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How will works impact you?

During working hours, a road closure is required due to the narrow nature of the road to keep road users and our crew safe

We will keep the Spur open during the morning and afternoon peaks Monday - Thursday, all day Friday - Sunday and during the Easter public holiday.

The Black Spur will be closed between 9.30am-3.30pm on these days:

  • Monday 30 March – Thursday 2 April
  • Monday 6 April – Thursday 9 April
  • Tuesday 14 April – Thursday 16 April
  • Monday 20 - Thursday 23 April
  • Monday 27 - Thursday 30 April

* Note: We may need to undertake further stages of work. We’ll monitor the progress of these works and advise the community of any additional works.

Detours and extra travel time

During the closure periods, we’ll have signed detours in place via the Melba Highway to Yea, the Goulburn Valley Highway to Alexandra and the Maroondah Highway to Alexandra, before heading south to Narbethong.

There will be electronic signs in place to safely guide you through the detour. If you’re travelling through the area, please plan your journey and allow extra time.

The detour will add an extra hour of travel time, so we advise you to plan ahead for travel between 9.30am-3.30pm between Narbethong and Healesville.

We encourage drivers to take extra care along heavily treed roads.

To keep in touch with live traffic updates, you can follow @VicTraffic on Facebook or Twitter.

Balck Spur detour map

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Environmental care

We understand and share the value that the community places on these trees. And while we do need to remove them, we’ll take the utmost care to protect wildlife and flora in the area.
Arborists will check each tree for wildlife, and we’ll have an animal specialist on site to care for any injured animals.

We’ll be using a large crane to allow the trees to be removed in sections and lowered to the road. This will ensure the protection of the undergrowth on the forest floor, and protection for local wildlife. 

Contact us 

For more information about this project, please get in touch.

Email: [email protected]

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