CAMPASPE Shire will spend $15.4 million this year in maintaining and upgrading its road network.
Mayor Adrian Weston said roads is council’s largest single item expenditure, with 19 per cent of the total $81 million budget allocated.
“We know roads are important to our community. This comes through loud and clear in community surveys, in service requests, in feedback on the street,’’ he said.
“Our funding is limited and works are prioritised in order to meet the highest needs, such as school bus routes, transport routes and high traffic volumes.”
A three-year freezing of increases to Financial Assistance Grants (FAG) and cessation of the Country Roads and Bridges funding has also impacted council’s ability to address these priorities, according to Cr Weston.
“The reduction in this vital grant income for roads by about $1.4 million per year over the past three to four years is where it impacts the community,’’ he said.
‘‘Losing much needed additional grant funds for our road network.’’
Maintenance is scheduled from regular inspections as well as customer service requests.
“Whilst we undertake regular inspections, we rely on the community to be our eyes and ears on the ground,” Cr Weston said.
Renewal projects totalling $9.3 million are planned for the local road network this year including:
■$820,000 for resheeting of gravel road shoulders on sealed roads.
■$2 million for gravel road resheeting.
■$1.3 million resealing works.
■$500,000 road construction of a 1km section of Kotta Road.
■$467,500 road construction, footpath, kerb and channel, Bolton Road, Echuca.
Council also advocates for the federal and state governments to fund projects to the main road network.
Main roads are the responsibility of VicRoads, such as the Northern Highway, Murray Valley Highway, Echuca Kyabram Road, High Street Echuca, Echuca Mitiamo Road, Prairie Rochester Road, McCormick Road Kyabram and Echuca Shepparton Road.
“We meet with VicRoads regularly to advocate on behalf of our community about priorities for our main road network,” Cr Weston said.
Some projects recently raised include:
■Passing lanes between Elmore and Echuca.
■Improvement to the Northern Highway, south entrance to Echuca.
■Upgrades to the Sturt St/Murray Valley Highway intersection in Echuca, which may include traffic lights.
■Upgrades to Murray Valley Highway, the east entrance into Echuca.
■Upgrades to Murray Valley Highway, west of Echuca.
■Maintenance to the Mitiamo Prairie Rd and Echuca Shepparton Rd.
Some projects recently funded by Federal and State governments to the main road network include:
■$286,781 in Federal Government Black Spot funding for road safety improvements to a 6km section of Lockington Road, between Settlement Rd and Diggora Rd, Diggora West.
■$20 million in funding for upgrades along the Murray Valley Highway between Yarrawonga and Echuca, with $10 million planned for our shire.
■Upgrade of the Warren/Northern Highway intersection as part of the second bridge crossing project, with the contractor announced in June this year.
■Upgrades to a 2km section of the Murray Valley Highway at Wharparilla.