Goulburn Valley Highway - Molesworth to Yea
In response to the high number of fatalities and safety concerns, we've been working on a significant infrastructure solution to prevent vehicles from crossing the centreline of the Goulburn Valley Highway between Molesworth and Yea.
The Goulburn Valley Highway between Molesworth and Yea has one of the worst safety performance records of any section of road in Victoria. Between 2010 and 2015, 11 crashes happened here, resulting in the deaths of eight people and 13 people with serious injuries. Nine of the 11 crashes involved a vehicle crossing the centre-line.
Interim safety treatments
We implemented safety treatments in April and May 2015 to reduce the likelihood and severity of further crashes.
These treatments included:
- reduction of the speed limit from 100 km/h to 80 km/h
- “High Crash Zone” warning signs
- a tactile centre line along the length of the section of road.
Long term safety treatments
The use of safety barriers with other treatments has been identified as an effective safety measure to prevent vehicles crossing the centre-line. In April 2015, the Victorian Government announced $18 million in funding from their $1 billion Safe System Road Infrastructure Program to deliver a project proposal for the installation of a safety barrier and other safety treatments at this location.
A centre-line wire rope safety barrier will be constructed between the church entrance at Molesworth and Limestone Road, Yea. The centre-line wire rope safety barrier will have approximately 20 openings, to cater for property access and emergency services. These openings are typically 40 metres wide or greater to allow for turning trucks into properties. A left-hand side barrier will be installed at high risk locations to protect motorists from trees and steep drop-offs. All barriers will be installed with motorcycle-friendly treatments in areas of high likelihood of losing control. Find out more about how wire rope safety barriers work.
The road will be widened to accommodate the installation of safety barriers in the centre of the road and on the left edge. This widening will occur on one side of the road where possible to minimise disturbance to native vegetation, cultural heritage and indigenous wildlife. The widening will allow for a sealed road shoulder on the left edges to allow for emergency stopping or road maintenance and emergency vehicles to park whilst still allowing movement of traffic in travelling lanes.
Additional overtaking lanes
There are currently two overtaking lanes between Molesworth and Yea. The overtaking lane at Cotton’s Pinch will be extended towards Whytes Lane. The overtaking lane at Yea will swap in direction. An additional overtaking lane will be constructed between the existing overtaking lanes for those for vehicles travelling towards Molesworth.
Another overtaking lane is planned on the river flats next to the power poles coming into Molesworth to eliminate the sporadic overtaking which currently takes place.
Variable message signs
Two permanent electronic message signs are planned at Yea and Yarck. These signs will show real time traveller information instantly for planned events, emergency management and general road safety messaging.
Each landowner will have at least one break in the wire rope barrier to provide them with unrestricted access. These accesses will be sealed to the property boundary or an agreed distance from the road. Provision will be made at each barrier opening for a turning vehicle to prop in the middle of the road, while another passes on the left-hand side.
In July 2015, April and October 2016 we held community information and consultation sessions and meetings with members of the CFA, Victoria Police, Murrindindi Shire Council and other stakeholders. We've also visited and presented information to community groups such as Rotary.
Since that time, the project team has had ongoing discussions regarding aspects of the project with landowners, local emergency services, Council officers, Landcare groups, other government agencies, and road safety experts from other states of Australia, NZ and overseas.
Feedback has been included wherever possible in the planning and design work which includes:
- detailed feature survey
- road and bridge design
- landowner discussions
- pavement and geotechnical investigations
- flora and fauna assessments
- a tree census.
Members of our project team will continue to engage on aspects of the design with the community as it evolves.
We will distribute updates throughout the progress of the project and work closely with local media outlets to help spread information to the community about project progress, changes to road arrangement and conditions and other important details.
Environmental and Cultural Heritage
In conjunction with our consultant Biosis, we're currently working with local Landcare groups, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Goulburn Murray Catchment Management Authority (GMCMA) and the traditional owners of the land - the Taungurung people - to determine the most suitable design which minimises the impact on their interests. These groups have viewed and commented on current design plans.
Construction started April 2016.
The project will be constructed in sections starting from Yea and working towards Molesworth.
During construction there will be reduced speed limits in place to protect you and our workers during this time. Where possible, we will retain two lanes of traffic and increase speed limits where it is safe to do so.
We understand this can be frustrating to motorists, however, safety comes first.
It is anticipated that the speed limit would be returned to 100 km/h once the safety treatments have been made.
The location of the reduced speed zone at both Yea and Molesworth will be determined through consultation with the local communities.
For more information about this project, please get in touch.
Email: [email protected]
03 5761 1892 or 03 5761 1880
: Regional Director, VicRoads, North Eastern Region, PO Box 135, Benalla VIC 3671