The Andrews Labor Government has delivered certainty to local residents by joining New South Wales in confirming the grey route as the preferred option for the Yarrawonga-Mulwala Bridge replacement. The announcement by the Minister for Roads Luke Donnellan is providing certainty to the Yarrawonga Mulwala communities after an extensive consultation process over many years.
The grey route was recently endorsed as the preferred option by the New South Wales Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay in a statement to Parliament. The grey route is also the preferred option of both VicRoads and Roads and Maritime Services NSW.
The new bridge will be constructed adjacent to the existing Mulwala Bridge, which will be removed when the new crossing is completed.
The costs to maintain the existing bridge, even just for pedestrian and cyclist use, are prohibitive. The grey route maintains the important direct connection between the two towns and will have pedestrian, cycling and fishing facilities incorporated into the design.
The grey option will also remove through traffic and congestion on Belmore Street, improve connectivity for residents east of Belmore Street, and provide the shortest travel route for pedestrians and cyclists between Melbourne St and Belmore St. The grey option also provides direct access to the Yarrawonga foreshore, which will help to support local tourism.
The preferred grey option includes the B connection to the Murray Valley Highway, which heads south parallel to the Benalla-Oaklands railway, and will remove heavy truck traffic from Belmore Street by providing an alternative freight route.
Three crossing options were considered as part of the Yarrawonga-Mulwala Bridge Planning Study.
The green route was assessed as significantly increasing traffic on Piper Street and McNally Street in Yarrawonga, and with the removal of the existing bridge it would also reduce direct connectivity between the communities. While the yellow crossing option provided a connection between the two towns, it would also significantly increase traffic on Piper Street, McNally Street and Witt Street.
The project will now be referred to the Minister for Planning for further development, before a funding proposal can be submitted to the Government for consideration.
The new crossing will provide for the transport needs of Yarrawonga and Mulwala following the closure of the Yarrawonga Weir, expected to occur in 2020, and eliminate the increasing maintenance costs for the aging bridge.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Roads and Road Safety, Luke Donnellan
“The Andrews Labor Government is providing certainty to the communities of Yarrawonga and Mulwala.”
“The grey route will support the continued economic growth of the region while reducing the impact of traffic movements on residential streets.”
“This is the best possible decision to meet the transport needs of Yarrawonga and Mulwala into the future.”
Reviewed 10 February 2021