Potholes and cracked bitumen wreaked havoc on cars travelling along the South Gippsland Highway near Bena on Sunday. Yesterday (Monday) VicRoads maintenance crews were at the scene repairing the stretch of road. M062414.
IT WAS the first downpour for winter and already roads around the district began to deteriorate over the weekend with large potholes blowing out tyres and destroying rims.
Police have urged drivers to slow down and be aware of the “appalling” condition of local roads following a horror run for road users on the South Gippsland Highway on Sunday.
At 9.30pm Korumburra Police Station Sergeant Clive Smith was called to the scene near the Bena turn-off where three cars had hit a series of deep pot holes.
Each car had significantly damaged rims and tyres.
Also attending the scene was local tow truck driver Reg Maskell of Korumburra Towing and RACV who said he had been called out at least six times throughout the day.
“I was out at the Bena turn-off for quite a while on Sunday night,” Mr Maskell said.
“Some cars had two flat tyres from where they had hit the pot hole on the front wheel and then the back and both were blown out.
“There was damage to rims as well; a lot of people don’t seem to be carrying spare tyres these days so the cars then need to be towed.”
Mr Maskell said this time of year is always busy with call outs, with pot holes appearing in the roads as soon as there is heavy rainfall.
“The water gets underneath, the bitumen breaks up and then there is a hole underneath. The edges are quite sharp which then blows the tyres out,” he said.
“It’s worse when it’s dark and you can’t see them until it’s too late. You’re already on top of them and the damage is done.”
Police immediately contacted VicRoads on Sunday night requesting crews attend the scene and start repair works. Crews were working on the stretch of highway yesterday (Monday).
The incident comes as retired Bass Coast Highway Patrol and Leongatha Police Station Sergeant Jim Baum called for the Police and Transport Ministers to step in and fix the state of the roads.
Mr Baum said when travelling home from Melbourne recently he was “disgusted” to see the condition of the roads, particularly between Ruby and Loch.
“Whilst I appreciate that some money is being spent, I question whether or not long term solutions are being sought,” Mr Baum said.
“Simply filling holes with a shovel full of bitumen is not good enough.
“This practice is not effective and the fix is short lived.”
As a motorcyclist, Mr Baum described conditions as menacing.
“The risk to public safety due to these conditions can be menacing for all road users but the danger to any motorcyclist is very real indeed,” he said.
“The police and other emergency services are serious about road safety. It’s about time that the State Government showed the same commitment.”