Under normal circumstances, the local road network is a local government responsibility, however the unprecedented fallout from the fires has seen RRV delivering coordinated bushfire recovery efforts with Towong Shire Council.
Acting North Eastern Regional Director Alex Green said this collaboration has helped the organisations to prioritise road repair works that provide the greatest community benefit.
“We want to keep disruption to a minimum during the extensive recovery phase and that’s why we’ve pooled resources with Towong,” Mr Green said.
“Our first major step was to determine priority areas for recovery – this started as soon as the fires were brought under control. We coordinated infrastructure inspections with council into bushfire-affected areas, which helped to identify and schedule repair works pivotal to the community’s ability to return to their daily lives.
“We’ve also collaborated with council to undertake extensive post-disaster damage reporting as required by the Australian Government’s Disaster Recovery Funding.”
RRV will continue to assist council as recovery efforts continue, with the new partnership using local knowledge and experienced resources from both organisations set to quicken the recovery timeline significantly.
Towong Shire Council’s Mayor Councillor David Wortmann said the collaboration towards local road network recovery will greatly assist to re-establish the road network.
“The scale of the job at hand is significant. Since the impact of the bushfires started to become known, council has been proactive in developing a program of works to get the local road network back online, safely and as soon as possible,” Mr Wortmann said.
“The support between council and RRV outlines a commitment to coordinate work and support the recovery of the community through a substantial road recovery effort.
“We ask all roads users to remain patient and adhere to road closed or permit access only roads in the interest of public and contractor safety.”
In Towong Shire, more than 480 of 520 kilometres of arterial roads and highways have been reopened, along with 200 kilometres of local roads.
Recovery efforts are ongoing on many of these roads, with no timeline for completion available at this stage.
During the extensive repair process, Benambra-Corryong Road will remain closed from Stacey's Bridge. It's too early to know how long it will take to get this 40-kilometre section of road to a satisfactory level to reopen for use by the public.
Reinstatement works on local and arterial roads have included replacement of critical road safety infrastructure including guideposts and signage, along with repairs to bridge infrastructure road pavement, plus drain and culvert clearing.
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