Regional roads crumbling

THE Blyth Plains road is in disrepair despite recently having $3.51m spent upgrading the 28km section of road.

The road was repaired six months ago, with re-sheeting and a shoulder added to the narrow stretch of road.

Since these repairs the stretch of road has rapidly deteriorated, with the condition set to continually worsen as summer starts and a rise in harvest based traffic begins along the road.

Member for Frome, Geoff Brock, isn’t impressed with the rapid decline of the road since repairs were undertaken.

“Works on this Federal and State government co-funded project were only completed a few months ago as part of the Rural Road Package, and already the surface is breaking down, leaving dirt for varying distances and potholes on either side of the join from the old road to the new extended width seal,” Mr Brock said.

“This is not good enough, millions of dollars have been spent upgrading this road ready for harvest season, which has now started, and the road is already needing urgent repair works.”

Some sections of the road, especially near the Lark Road intersection, have had their bitumen torn to shreds, with potholes more than 10cm deep already forming in areas.

Mr Brock said the sharp drop offs and potholes now developing on the surface of this ‘new’ road upgrade have become hazardous for all road users and he is concerned for their safety.

“It is extremely disappointing, that after finally addressing this issue, it is already in such poor condition,” Mr Brock said

Mr Brock is questioning the accountability and supervision of this work, and just how the road has declined so quickly.

“It seems that although the State Government acknowledged the dangerous state of the road at the time, citing it as a reason for spending $3.5m on the upgrade, there have been no measures in place to ensure the quality of the work, and the result is a great deal of money has been spent to make the road even more dangerous for users,” Mr Brock said.

Mr Brock has been lobbying since 2014 for this road to receive an upgrade to accommodate the heavy vehicles and school buses which use the road on a regular basis.

“I have spoken to the Transport Minister, Corey Wingard, to take immediate measures to investigate the quality of the work and begin remediation works as soon as possible,” he said.

Similar repair works which were undertaken on a 700m stretch between Owen and Hamley Bridge, along with the Hamley Bridge to Templers road, are also falling into a dangerous state.

“I’ve had reports of the roads beginning to show similar signs of deterioration as the Blyth Plains road, so if any constituents within Frome begin to notice these roads in disrepair, please contact me with photos and where the problem is located,so I can personally take a look at the problem and gain a better image of the issue at hand,” Mr Brock said.