VICROADS can’t say they weren’t warned about the mudslide that crossed the South Gippsland Highway near Korumburra last Tuesday.
It was the second time it’s happened this year – quite bizarre in such a dry year, but nearby resident Stuart Jenkin knew it would be a problem again when he saw the forecast for heavy rain.
The paddock on the hill above the highway was ripped up for cropping in March and a heavy downpour washed tonnes and tonnes of topsoil down the hill and into the roadside drain.
The top soil blocked the culvert, which meant water had nowhere to go, except up onto the road and into the front yard of a Silkstone home.
Two months later, the paddocks above still have no vegetation growing to keep the soil intact and the culvert wasn’t cleaned out.
With heavy rain forecast early last week, Mr Jenkin called the authorities, hoping for immediate action.
“I called the South Gippsland Shire Council who said it was a VicRoads problem and then I called VicRoads, but they didn’t get here.”
The results are still there, plain to see.
Fence posts are now just poking out above the mud-line and mud is covering the resident’s nature strip after two heavy downpours last week.
VicRoads contractors were at the site later in the week clearing the mud blocking drains on the other side of the road.
Mr Jenkin doesn’t blame the vegetable grower for the problem that came from above. He’s offered to repair the damaged fences.
“He wanted to fix it prior to it happening again but he’s not allowed on the road side of the fence,” Mr Jenkin said.
“VicRoads, or at least some council staff who would have driven past it dozens of times should have used some initiative and cleaned out the culverts.
“It was obvious it would happen again.”
On the bright side, Mr Jenkin, whose own property was affected by the mud slide, said his garden could benefit.
“We were saying that we could use a bit of top soil, but maybe not that much!”
Mud spills across highway