DESPITE concerns from nearby residents, Campaspe Shire Council says a new intersection in Echuca east will cater for emergency vehicles.
Council is in the middle of upgrading two intersections on Goulburn Rd — one connecting Pakenham and Sutton streets, and the other Bowen and Goulburn Rd.
Considered notorious intersections in Echuca, the upgrade has been welcomed, however some residents are concerned the road entering Pakenham St is too narrow.
‘‘Given that residents of Pakenham St face Banyule State Forest, a new road should not hinder emergency service vehicles from having safe and rapid access to Pakenham St should a bush fire occur,’’ Jodi Ujimoto said in a letter addressed to council.
Jodi, who lives in the area, said it was her understanding the new entrance would not only be a two-way entry and exit, but there would be a concrete median strip in the middle, further reducing the width of the lane.
‘‘The entrance and road measures a mere 5.6 metres at its narrowest point and there is no shoulder,’’ she said.
‘‘This seems far too narrow to allow for the vehicles that typically use Pakenham St, such as trucks, large four wheel drives and the shire’s garbage collection and recycling trucks.
‘‘More importantly, emergency service vehicles will be confronted with a narrow entrance and road.’’
Jodi said fire trucks were typically 3.02m wide and 7.7 metres long.
‘‘The road width must allow room for safe passage of a fire truck with additional margins for human error and safe clearances,’’ Jodie said.
‘‘Finally, school children use Pakenham St to ride their bikes and to scoot to school. With no footpaths or bike lanes, the new narrow road and entrance really need to allow room for their safe movement.
‘‘It is currently enough of a challenge to cross Goulburn Rd and to head to Echuca East Primary School. We only hope that the new intersection will make this a safer, and not a more dangerous, crossing.’’
Council’s infrastructure services general manager Emma Dalton said council had received a letter raising the above concerns.
She said the road appeared to be too narrow because the works were not complete.
‘‘The width of Pakenham St was considered during the design phase of the project,’’ she said.
‘‘One of the objectives of the project was to improve driver behaviour at this intersection by improving the approach angle from Pakenham St onto Goulburn Road.
‘‘This has been achieved by the realignment of the intersection which will better direct vehicles into the intersection. Once complete, the road width from kerb to kerb will be 6.2m.
‘‘The design took into account the need for long vehicles to enter into Pakenham St from Goulburn Rd.
‘‘This was verified using vehicle turning templates of a variety of vehicles up to a 19m truck and semi-trailer combination.’’
Council said the works were progressing well and would be completed by the end of June.
Detours will continue throughout the $1.2 million project, which is funded through the Federal Government’s Road to Recovery (R2R) program.