THE corrugated condition of a Korumburra road is causing damage to school buses and leaving residents fearful a fatal crash is just around the corner.
People living along Clancys Road on the outskirts of Korumburra are so sick of the dirt road’s corrugation and dust clouds that they are now banding together to call on South Gippsland Shire Council to ditch the quick fixes and seal the road.
The council has apologised to residents for the poor condition of the road, which it has blamed on a lack of rain and hoon drivers, but has said that it does not have enough money to seal the road as a permanent solution.
Bruce and Karon Mackin have lived and travelled on the road for about 30 years and have dealt with the usual problems of a dirt road, but they say the corrugation has reached such terrible levels that something needs to be done.
“It’s a 100km/h limit on Clancys Road, but you won’t get over 60km/h before your car begins to vibrate away from you,” Mr Mackin said.
“There are a lot of young fellas who are inexperienced drivers that use this road, along with milk tankers and school buses, and we’re all worried someone is going to die because it’s so bad right now.”
Wayne and Annmarie Clark have brought the issue up with the council many times over the years, but say they only ever get generalised responses.
They say they fear for the safety of their son who is on his L-plates and their P-plater niece who lives with them.
“If one of our kids is killed on this road, I’m going to take all the council’s pathetic letters and excuses to us straight to a lawyer,” Mr Clark said.
“This road really needs sealing because the grading and temporary fixes they’re doing at the moment only last about a week.”
Harley’s Buslines runs a school bus route along Clancys Road every day and owner Wayne Harley said the corrugation was not only unsafe, but was damaging their buses.
“The vibration from the road actually made the plastic guard and fan from one of the air conditioners on the roof of our bus to come loose and break off,” Mr Harley said.
“Our driver who has done that route for 18 years says it is the worst he’s ever seen it.
“The road needs to be repaired and not just with a band-aid fix this time.”
The council’s director of infrastructure Anthony Seabrook said the council had placed hazard signs on Clancys Road at the beginning of March, but said it could not fix the problem until the area gets some decent rain.
“Dry weather combined with speed are the main contributing factors to corrugations forming,” Mr Seabrook said.
“There was evidence of hoon activity soon after the recent grading which tears up the surface and contributes greatly to the deterioration of freshly-graded gravel roads.
“Maintenance crews report that this is a regular occurrence soon after grading Clancys Road.”
He said the council will only grade the road again when rain is forecast and ruled out using watering equipment on the road as it was “very expensive”.
“To grade the road in the current dry conditions will only make the problem worse,” he said.
“Water is difficult to access and using town/drinking water is not a good use of a valuable limited resource.
“Waiting for rain is the best value option and allows for council’s resources to be deployed to activities that are more effective in the dry weather such as drain cleaning.”
Mr Seabrook said sealing the road would be the best long-term option, but said the council could not afford it because the Federal Government’s Gravel to Seal program had come to an end.
“The Gravel to Seal program has been funded through the Roads to Recovery program which was increased in the last two years but has now been returned to original levels,” Mr Seabrook said.
“Council asks for the community’s patience until the conditions improve for gravel road maintenance and apologises for any inconvenience.”
Road so bad it broke a bus