Flood works to block major traffic artery

TRAFFIC on Mortlake Road, one of Warrnambool’s busiest thoroughfares, will be disrupted for more than two months while a new culvert is installed to improve flood flow through Russells Creek.

Work will start Monday and continue to about May 30 including a week in the Easter school holidays when vehicles will be detoured to other routes. 

It is part of the $3 million North Warrnambool Flood Mitigation Project to reduce flooding to more than 750 properties and 100 buildings.

Roadway work will be contained to a 19-metre section on the northern side of the roundabout intersection with Moore and Banyan streets and Botanic Road.

Traffic controllers will monitor vehicle flow and 40km/h speed limits will apply intermittently and from March 31 temporary concrete barriers will be in place for several weeks.

The road section will be closed from April 7 to 13 and traffic detoured via Donovans, Queens and Botanic roads before two-way traffic and 40km/h speed limits resume on April 14 until May 30.

Pedestrian and cycle access will not be permitted along Russells Creek under Mortlake Road, but traffic controllers will be employed to supervise school students who will be encouraged to cross at Allan or Breton streets.

Parents have been advised to request their children to use the designated temporary crossings.

“The road will be closed for seven days from April 7, which coincides with the school holidays when roads are usually less busy,” city council manager infrastructure development and projects Justin Hinch said.

“Importantly, access to businesses along Mortlake Road will be maintained at all times.

“It’s hoped the timing during school holidays will minimise inconvenience.”

More work on Mortlake Road is expected later in the year to improve flow for emergency vehicles before completion of a planned $4.7 million fire station.

Earlier this year the CFA suggested there may be opportunity for slip lanes to be incorporated into the roundabout. Demolition work is expected to start soon on the site of the former Action sports centre on Mortlake Road to make way for the new station.

CFA regional director  Bob Barry said the Action swimming pool was being pumped out and tenders were being finalised for demolition. Designs for the station will be approved later and construction is expected to be well under way by Christmas.

“We will have to work in with the council and VicRoads to make sure we have good access on to the main carriageway,” Mr Barry said.

“There could be opportunity to ask for slip lanes on the road and roundabout so if traffic is banked up we can slip past.”

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