Why is Government wanting to deliver these road changes?
Prior to the opening of the Gateway Shopping Centre in Yarrawonga, heavy vehicles travelling from the south to Pinelands were able to use the left turn into Marjorie Street off the Stuart Highway.
This access was possible due to a detour via Yarrawonga Road that allowed traffic to turn safely through Yarrawonga Road / Roystonea Avenue intersection into the outermost lane of Roystonea Avenue (before becoming Stuart Highway) and turning left into Marjorie Street (refer map below).
This route is no longer a suitable long-term option for heavy vehicles as the number of traffic conflicts has increased on Yarrawonga Road with the construction of Gateway Shopping Centre which caters for 1,400 car parks for shoppers.
A new, safer option for heavy vehicles to enter Pinelands from the Stuart Highway is required. This is also evident in the crash data for the uncontrolled intersections on the Stuart Highway at Pinelands and Holtze. There have been more than 50 crashes in the past two years at these intersections.
The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics has been undertaking planning work to improve heavy vehicle access into Pinelands since late 2016. The objectives of the planning work has been to:
The project is currently in its third round of consultation.
What consultation has been undertaken on this project to date?
The project is currently in its third stage of consultation.
Stage 1 consultation occurred in 2016-17 where 34 resident businesses were consulted. The objective of Stage 1 was to gather feedback from key stakeholders, including local businesses within the Pinelands and Holtze precincts on the current heavy vehicle access routes used, traffic issues and ideas for improvement.
Stage 2 consultation was held between 14 September 2018 and closed on 2 November 2018. Consultation was open for seven weeks to ensure all businesses and property owners had the opportunity to contribute. The objective was to seek feedback on the proposed concept design.
The feedback obtained during Stage 2 highlighted concerns with cul-de-sacs on service roads as well as the restated desire for an access from Marjorie Street to Tiger Brennan Drive and adjustments to the timing of the traffic signals at Deviney Road.
How has the revised concept design addressed community concerns?
The timing of traffic signals at Deviney Road will be altered to allow more time for right-turn from Deviney onto the Stuart Highway. To accommodate this change and neutralize any delay on the Stuart Highway outbound, an additional outbound lane will be built on the Stuart Highway;
The median gap on the Stuart Highway where Olive Place and McKinnon Road connect is still proposed for closure, however an alternative option will be put to the public to identify preferred treatment. The alternative option is to install peak-hour signals to control traffic movements during high-risk periods only;
An access (exit) to Tiger Brennan Drive from Marjorie Street has been reconsidered and two options will be presented to the community to identify their preferred option. One of the options would require the restriction of heavy vehicles exiting during peak periods.
Improved pedestrian connectivity has also be incorporated into the revised design.