Planning for emergencies
MODERNISATION of Echuca’s emergency services will allow them to meet the needs of today’s community as well as future growth.
The new Echuca police station, on the corner of Anstruther and Sturt streets, opened its doors on December 16 before being officially opened last month.
The $10 million station replaces the 50-year-old building with a bigger, cutting-edge facility.
Built for the future, it will house current members but can take up to 95 members over the longer term.
The double-storey station operates a 24-hour counter service as well as a range of specialist units to respond to community needs, including criminal investigations unit, prosecutions and a proactive programs unit.
The building design includes a community-friendly entrance, counter space and custom-built custody suite with interview rooms, and has a newly equipped gymnasium and change rooms.
Last month also saw the opening of the new Echuca fire station.
As part of the new emergency services precinct in High St, the $2.3 million fire station is grouped with the ambulance service, Echuca SES and Echuca Search and Rescue.
The 650 square-metre station houses a five-bay drive-through motor room, command centre, offices and amenities.
Officially known as Echuca Fire Station Deakin Group HQ, the station replaces an almost 50-year-old building and benefits about 70 members.
Echuca’s new ambulance station is the latest service to get a much-needed upgrade.
With demolition starting on the old station in February, Echuca paramedics have relocated into the old police station in Dickson St.
Construction of the new, state-of-the-art branch is expected to start mid-year and be completed by late April 2018.
It comes after years of lobbying from local paramedics who said the old Ogilvie St station lacked basic functionality and was in desperate need of repairs.
The station will be replaced with state-of-the-art features including spacious and functional garages for vehicles, as well as lounge areas, a kitchen, large purpose-built training room and separate area for paramedics to study.
The new facility also has the capacity for extra vehicles and paramedics to respond to major events.
All roads leading to the new bridge
CAMPASPE Shire will spend $730,000 bringing Dickson St, Echuca to a standard capable of holding the increased traffic expected with the second river crossing.
The roads to recovery funding will increase the resilience of the road so that it can handle many times the standard number of heavy vehicles and light vehicles for the entire length of Dickson St.
Council assets manager and acting infrastructure general manager Richard Conway said council decided to combine two projects into one earlier this year.
‘‘Initially it was to be done in two stages but they decided to do it this financial year,’’ he said.
‘‘The idea is that what we put in is fit for purpose for what’s about to happen (the bridge). If we didn’t know about the bridge works we would have gone for a standard road.’’
Works are expected to be completed by the end of June.
Council will also spend $152,000 replacing the road surface around the Hare and Radcliffe St, Echuca roundabout.
The road will be closed to traffic from Tuesday, April 18 for about four weeks. Detours will be in place and parking in the area will be restricted during construction works.
Another safety bridge to be crossed
TWO more dangerous intersections in Echuca will be made safer soon.
Works have already started to ‘‘rehabilitate’’ intersections at Sutton and Goulburn Rd, and Goulburn Rd and Bowen St.
Both are considered dangerous hot spots and have been high interest points in the community, according to Campaspe Shire Council.
Assets manager and acting infrastructure general manager Richard Conway said the project will cost $1.2 million (roads to recovery funding).
‘‘The works (which have already started) will take 12 weeks to complete and should be completed by the end of June,’’ he said.
‘‘There’s going to be some minor traffic disruptions during the work. There’s a letter drop being organised now.
‘‘At the moment, and for the next week, there will be some works to move the services of water, power and phone so that it’s out of the way for the major construction that will start in the coming days.
‘‘It’s basically road rehabilitation and curb works.’’
The design has incorporated the needs of heavy goods and emergency vehicles as well as line of sight and safety consideration for cars.
And the end result?
A safer all round solution, says council.
Roulette road to be reparied
ECHUCA’S most dangerous pedestrian intersection (pictured right) will become safer for pedestrians in a few months.
The $500,000 rebuild was announced earlier this year, with works expected to start mid May and finish by July 1.
Making it safer and easier to cross, it will give pedestrians larger waiting areas and wider pedestrian refuges to safely assist those who are unable to cross the road quickly.
New line marking and changes to some of the on-street parking bays closer to the intersection will also help reduce the likelihood of reversing traffic crossing into the opposite traffic lane.
The intersection caters for about 11,000 vehicles per day.
The upgrade is part of the Building Our Regions Program and is jointly funded by the Victorian Government, which contributed $350,000, and Campaspe Shire ($150,000 cash and in-kind support).