Foxhow Road ‘state’s worst arterial route'

PART of popular Foxhow Road north-east of Camperdown has deteriorated so badly it has been described as probably the worst arterial route in regional Victoria.

The bitumen is barely wide enough for a single vehicle and dozens of potholes along the gravel edge are large enough to swallow a basketball — yet large volumes of heavy transport and cars still use the route as a link between the Princes and Hamilton highways to avoid roadworks east of Winchelsea.

Drivers often put their lives at risk by getting on to the soft, rough edges to allow trucks to pass and windscreen damage is common.

Although 60km/h speed restrictions are in place, locals fear a serious crash because of the dangerous conditions of the four-kilometre section east of the Camperdown-Lismore Road. 

Corangamite Shire mayor Chris O’Connor and veteran fellow councillor Geoff Smith, whose ward includes the road, described it as the most dangerous arterial route they knew of — probably in the state.

They said Roads Minister Terry Mulder and VicRoads had been reminded several times about the urgent need for funding to reconstruct the section into a heavy-duty two-lane carriageway.

Estimates put the project at $7 million, which is in addition to the 2013 realigning and widening of a 1.2-kilometre section further east from the bridge over Gnarkeet Chain of Ponds Creek to south of Collins Lane.

The council hopes it will be included in pre-election promises, but even if it does score funding the earliest expected completion is a year away.

In the meantime, the council and its employees continue to cop blame from motorists who don’t understand the route is controlled by VicRoads.

“I haven’t seen a more dangerous piece of road. Even at 60km/h it’s not safe,” Cr O’Connor said.

“The whole structure is sub-standard. We’ve had more complaints about that section of road than anywhere else in the shire.

“But we don’t have any control on traffic or on reconstruction.

“Our crews only do maintenance work that VicRoads allows us to do as contractors, but we get a lot of criticism.”

Cr O’Connor said shire graders were sent out regularly, but the roadside was so badly potholed it was unmanageable until conditions dried out.

The Standard sought comment from Mr Mulder and VicRoads but calls were not returned before deadline.

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