Hazardous tree removal works along the Maroondah Highway are set to begin in coming weeks to keep locals and visitors safe on one of Victoria’s most scenic routes.
Minister for Roads, Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford announced the removal today, which follows an arborist report that identified the need to remove 98 trees and prune large limbs from another 28.
Many of the trees are grand Mountain Ash that stand at between fifty to seventy-five metres tall and have become unstable due to age or competition with other trees.
The project requires the use of heavy machinery, including a crane, to remove the trees from the roadside.
The cranes allow the trees to be removed in sections, ensuring the protection of the undergrowth below and the native fauna and flora inhabiting it, including species only found in the area.
Stage one works are proposed to take place from 16-19 March and 23-26 March between 9:30am and 3:30pm.
To reduce the impact on local tourism operators, road closures will not take place between Fridays and Sundays, with Victorians encouraged to continue visiting the area over the weekends. Black Spur will be open throughout the school holidays to allow the locals and tourists to enjoy the popular holiday destination during the break.
Stage two of the works will restart on 20 April with more information to be shared in the coming weeks.
After the completion of the second stage of works, an assessment will be undertaken to determine if further hazardous tree removals are required.
Traffic management will be on site to support motorists to follow detours via the Melba Highway to Yea, the Goulburn Valley Highway to Alexandra and the Maroondah Highway to Alexandra, before heading south to Narbethong. Motorists are encouraged to allow more than an hour extra travel time during closures.
The Department of Transport will consult with the community and local businesses, including conducting holding two drop-in sessions to give locals an opportunity to have their questions answered.
As noted by Minister for Roads and Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford
“Safety is always our number one priority – that’s why we’re acting on the advice of our arborists to ensure the safer journeys of everyone travelling on this iconic route.”
“We’ll work closely with locals, environmental agencies and motorists driving through the Black Spur to make sure we can deliver these works quickly, safely and with as little disruption as possible.”