MAJOR upgrades to bridges and gravel roads will take place across Moyne Shire in the next 12 months.
Council has identified the areas where it will use a $1 million slice of state government funding under the country roads and bridges program.
A breakdown of the funding shows $460,000 to be spent on bridge upgrades, $340,000 on gravel road updates, $100,000 on line marking and $100,000 on signage. The program is in a four-year funding block, with the upcoming 12 months the last instalment.
During the program’s first two years money was spent on an upgrade of unsealed roads, while improved drainage on sealed roads and the start of work on line marking and signage improvements was in 2013-14.
Cr Colin Ryan said the funding was a huge boost for the roads network across the shire.
“Our staff has sat down and identified the areas that this money can be best used in to make the greatest impact,” Cr Ryan said.
“Looking at the allocation, as a group of councillors, we are very happy with where the money is going.”
The state of the roads has been a major issue for the council for many years. Cr Ryan said there were a number of reasons why it was so hard for the council to stay on top of the upkeep of its roads.
“There is a very large network of roads across the shire and when you add the large amount of trucks that use the road and the amount of heavy rain we get and it is a tough combination.
“Of course the Moyne Shire is not alone, I don’t think there would be a rural shire in Australia that doesn’t have a major issue with their roads.”
Cr Ryan said there had long been a perception that the south-west had been left behind in the race for road funding.
He said the situation was slowly starting to improve and council would continue to work with state and federal governments to push for more funding in the future.