Much awaited roundabout set to begin

By Emma Prior

Pre-construction works for the Murray Valley Highway/Woods Road roundabout including service relocation of major electrical and communication assets are now complete with the construction of the roundabout set to begin this week.

A spokesperson for Regional Roads Victoria (RRV) confirmed construction of the roundabout and shared user path was expected to begin in July and take approximately 20 weeks to complete, weather permitting.

During construction, partial closures of Woods Road will be required at times and detours will be in place including:

There will be no access to Woods Road north of the Murray Valley Highway.

There will be a detour in place along Ely Street for traffic heading north to Woods Road and South to Murray Valley Highway. 

There will be a detour along Derry Drive and Witt Street for traffic heading north to Woods Road and south to Murray Valley Highway.

Further road signage will be put into place or visit and search for ‘Murray Valley Highway/Woods Road roundabout Yarrawonga’ for closure details and detour routes.

The roundabout has been a long time in the planning with residents waiting patiently for the intersection upgrade since way back in March 2017 when VicRoads and Federal Member for Murray (now Nicholls) Damian Drum confirmed a roundabout would be built at the location as part of $20 million to be spent on safety improvements on a 130km stretch of the Murray Valley Highway between Echuca and Yarrawonga.

The new roundabout will improve safety and relieve pressure on one of Yarrawonga’s busiest intersections – providing safer turning opportunities and better catering for heavy vehicles. The roundabout will also improve safety for pedestrians including the elderly and school children, with designated crossing points on approach and splitter islands providing refuge in between both traffic lanes.

An accident earlier this year at the dangerous intersection sparked concern of when the promised roundabout will be constructed. The two-vehicle collision on February 26 raised further frustration by local residents who vented their concerns on social media. Many residents said they avoid the hazardous intersection where possible adding congestion on other residential streets. 

Moira Shire General Manager Infrastructure Andrew Close earlier this year said council has been working with RRV to ensure traffic is not disrupted overly during construction and that pedestrian access is supplied.

“Council has discussed our preferred options for detour routes on our local streets with Regional Roads Victoria as Woods Road is likely to be closed off for access from the highway while works are underway,” Mr Close said.

“It is expected RRV will close off one side of Woods Road at a time and local traffic wanting access to Woods Road will follow the detour routes via local streets.

“Council is expecting RRV to coordinate the public notification of the detour routes closer to the start of construction.

“Council will ensure footpath and pedestrian access is provided in the design so people will have access across the intersection to the local schools, aged care centre and medical centre after construction.

“We are also working with RRV to ensure the drainage works match up with our existing drainage infrastructure.”