East Gippsland Shire Council’s project to upgrade an important alternate access road into Lakes Entrance is progressing rapidly.
Scriveners Road is an existing 100km/h two-way gravel collector road and is increasingly being called upon during emergency situations as an alternative bypass for high two-way traffic volumes and large heavy vehicle traffic.
This significant project is being jointly funded by the Victorian Government’s Fixing Country Roads program and Council and demonstrates what can be done when all levels of government work together.
The project will substantially support the Lakes Entrance economy as well as ensuring continued sealed road access for residents, visitors and local businesses, in the event that the Princes Highway is closed for any reason.
Works include widening the eastern 1.8km section of road way including lengthening existing road culverts, gravel re-sheeting the first 3.6km section, and sealing the entire 5.4km length. Line marking, raised reflective centreline markers, signage upgrades and new guideposts and guardrails will also be installed.
Council’s General Manager Assets and Environment Fiona Weigall said favourable weather had benefited local contractor Whelans Group Investments, with works expected to be completed by early November.
“A 3.5km section from the Princes Highway to Mississippi Creek is prepared and ready to seal. This will be carried out once the road dries out,” Ms Weigall said.
“The remaining 2km section has been widened to 7.2 metres with crushed rock placed on the pavement widening sections. Existing road culverts have been extended where required.”
Mayor Cr Natalie O’Connell said the project was important on many fronts.
“The project is improving the standard of the road and in turn will increase road safety, and the capacity for the road to provide alternate access in times of an emergency and Princes Highway closure. It will provide certainty for industry, particularly the fishing sector, and tourism operators and visitors,” Cr O’Connell said.
“Widening and sealing Scriveners Road and completing other safety upgrades will provide safe alternate all-weather access into and out of Lakes Entrance.
“Ensuring continuity of supply for the town’s commercial fishing industry, which has an estimated annual value of $29.6m and representing 15 per cent of the total local economy, is vital and Council’s work on this road will enable that.”
Council will also complete road safety improvement works on the adjoining Colquhoun Road soon.