MAJOR works providing an alternate truck route through Leongatha are complete, removing 600 trucks from the town’s CBD each day.
Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester said construction of the $6.22 million alternate route had long been a priority for South Gippsland.
“These works will see the hundreds of heavy vehicles which currently pass through Leongatha’s CBD each day being able to
use the alternate route on Long Street,”
Mr Chester said.
“This will immediately make life more pleasant for local businesses and will be an important safety improvement for drivers and pedestrians in the town centre.”
Victorian Minister for Roads and Road Safety Luke Donnellan said the new route was all about improving safety for the community, and taking heavy vehicles off local streets.
“This route will take up to 600 heavy vehicles away from the heart of Leongatha, reducing congestion and improving traffic flow for local residents,” Mr Donnellan said.
“Most importantly, these works will help to make it safer for locals as they travel through Leongatha every day.”
McMillan MP Russell Broadbent inspected the completed works on Friday.
“Taking out heavy vehicles from the town’s CBD will ultimately provide safer conditions for pedestrians and cyclists as well as better access to Bair Street’s shops and other facilities,” Mr Broadbent said.
“The new route balances the needs of local road users, the freight industry, businesses and town amenity, and was designed with considerable community input.”
Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing said the new route featured the town’s first set of traffic lights following extensive consultation with the community.
“The new route has improved street lighting and access for pedestrians with a new three-metre-wide shared path, making it safer and easier for people to get where they need to in and around Leongatha,” Ms Shing said.
The Australian Government contributed $4,665,000 and the Victorian Government $1,555,000 toward the $6,220,000 project.
South Gippsland Shire Deputy Mayor Maxine Kiel said project brings a number of benefits, particularly when the council completes works to improve Bair Street.
“It’s a great thing for Leongatha. It improves traffic flow, and we also hope with the Bair Street works we can encourage visitors to come into the main street and support businesses.”
VicRoads regional director Henry Lam the full benefits of the alternate route will be seen when the council completes Bair Street works.
“The revitalisation of the CBD will mean that vehicles passing through town will naturally gravitate to Long Street.”
Mr Lam said he was pleased the work was completed ahead of schedule and in time for the tourist traffic heading to and from the Prom.
He also urged local drivers to take extra care at the new intersections.
“This will take some getting used to.”