Member of Lions Club – State Parliament
The opinions of experienced road builders that the old road shoulder on the Princes Highway would not stand up to heavy traffic loads have been proven correct with work having started on a large section of failed road surface, only months after it was re-sealed.
Gippsland East Nationals MP Tim Bull said earlier this year he raised concerns after experienced former road workers advised him the works would fail.
“I met with them on site about five kilometres east of the Billabong Roadhouse, exactly where the road is now failing, said Mr Bull.
“What they told me is that with the barriers being installed on the centre of the road, the east bound traffic lane was being pushed to the left and what was the old road shoulder, would now have to take regular traffic volumes.
“They said it was only built to shoulder standard and despite a seal over the top, the shoulder base would never hold up to regular traffic loads.
“However, the authorities formally advised us that geotechnical assessments had been done and indicated the road would be satisfactory. When I relayed this back to the former roads workers, they just laughed and said ‘you’ll see’.
“Now here we are with the road failing in a number of areas and an announcement that a large section will have to be replaced – and it is that very shoulder that was referred to.
“Road workers were critical of Regional Roads Victoria from the outset, describing this as a cheap band aid job, which is unfortunately symbolic of the fiasco that the Princes Highway road safety works have become.
“They were told, via my office, by respected and experienced road builders, but they just bulldozed ahead regardless.
“When every dollar of road funding is so hard to come by it is scandalous to see it wasted by having to undertake costly repairs that could have been avoided if the job had been done correctly in the first place.
“Road building standards, whether it is the width of pull over lanes or the depth of road construction pavement, are being ignored.
“The Andrews Labor Government and Roads Minister Jaala Pulford have a lot to answer for,” said Mr Bull.
Caption: Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, inspects one of the many failed sections of the “new” Princes Highway roadworks that Regional Roads Victoria was warned would not stand up to heavy traffic and is now being re built.