$9.6m safety works to fix fatal issue

11 Mar 2017 Border Mail, Albury-Wodonga (General News) by Shana Morgan; Shana Morgan $9.6 million in funding committed to improve notorious road END THE CRASHES FIVE fatal crashes in five years have been more than enough on Beechworth-Wodonga Road. Now something is being done about the problem. The Victorian government has announced $9.6 million worth of safety works around Wooragee and the Yackandandah turnoff. Senior Sergeant Darren Wittingslow has praised the initiatives, saying they could help save lives. Reports: P6 A NOTORIOUS stretch of road, where five people tragically died over five years, is set for a $9.6 million safety overhaul. Beechworth-Wodonga Road was listed as one of the 20 riskiest roads in country Victoria last year following five fatalities and 14 crashes with serious injures. Police and VicRoads have spent nine months investigating their options and asking for community advice, before coming up with a solution they hope will save lives. A new roundabout will be built at the Yackandandah Road intersection, plus and over 20 kilometres of flexible road safety barriers and tactile line-marking, which creates noise to alert drivers, will be installed. An overtaking lane for Wodonga-bound traffic, between Edmondson and Star lanes, was planned to reduce head-on and run-offroad crashes. An 80km/h speed limit will also be introduced through Wooragee. Senior Sergeant Darren Wittingslow has welcomed the Victorian government announcement, saying it would be $9.6m well-spent to save lives. All of those are great initiatives, he said. VicRoads have done a lot of work and Ive provided them with some crash data and gone on inspections with them. The roundabout will include a bend in the road to force motorists to slow down and some of the tactile line-marking will be in the centre of the road to alert drivers before they drift too far into the wrong lane. Every time you see another barrier get hit, you think theres another life saved, Senior Sergeant Wittingslow said. Its been a road of major concern just because of the volume of traffic. Theres a few unforgiving sections if you lose control, youre gone. Northern Victoria MLC Jaclyn Symes announced the $9.6m in funding she said would help reduce the likelihood and severity of future crashes. The community have told us they want this dangerous road fixed, thats why weve fast-tracked this upgrade to make it safer and easier for locals to get where they need to go, she said. This upgrade will help to reduce the risk of serious injuries and ensure people get home safer and sooner every day. Works are expected to start on Tuesday. Caption Text: NOTORIOUS STRETCH: A double fatality in Wooragee in August 2016 was the latest of a horror run of crashes on Beechworth-Wodonga Road over the past five years. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.