RRV Regional Director (Northern) Brian Westley said works have progressed well on an $11.7 million Victorian Government project that will install traffic lights, dedicated turning lanes, a slip lane, new street lighting and a zebra crossing.

“We’re really pleased preparation works on site are almost complete as part of an upgrade that will ultimately increase safety, traffic flow and pedestrian connectivity,” Mr Westley said.

“Since March we’ve focused on relocating services such as water, power and telecommunications, and over the coming weeks Powercor will finish connecting underground electricity and removing old power poles.

“Now we’re looking towards the start of construction set to begin later this year.”

Preparation works also focused on the environment with more than a thousand hardy native seedlings recently planted at New Gisborne’s nearby Magnet Hill as part of a planting program between RRV and Macedon Ranges Shire Council.

RRV’s involvement in the program aims to balance the unavoidable removal of 18 trees needed to make room for the wider, safer intersection and pedestrian crossings.

“While designing this upgrade, we aimed to strike a balance between improving safety for the community and minimising impact on the roadside environment as much as possible,” Mr Westley said.

“No-one likes to see trees removed, but it is reassuring to know more than one thousand seedlings - including fragrant saltbushes, native tree violets and drooping sheoaks - are already settling in nearby at Magnet Hill,” Mr Westley said.

The program aims to support biodiversity and sustainability and is in addition to RRV’s landscaping designs, which will see more than 70 trees planted at the new intersection once the project is complete.

“We’re also working closely with the community and stakeholders to ensure any removed timber is reused, repurposed or recycled in the region.”

The entire intersection upgrade is scheduled for completion in mid-2022 with construction expected to pause over winter to avoid poor weather and minimise disruptions for the community.

To keep track of these works, visit Station Road and Saunders Road intersection upgrade, New Gisborne.