VICROADS has confirmed it plans to upgrade a badly-damaged section of Foxhow Road north of Camperdown which has been described as one of the worst in Victoria.
The single-lane bitumen carriageway at Leslie Manor is barely wide enough for one vehicle and the gravel edges are riddled with deep potholes.
The speed limit was lowered from 80km/h to 60km/h recently in recognition of the safety risk.
It is estimated reconstruction of the four-kilometre section into a double-lane carriageway would cost about $7 million.
Corangamite Shire mayor Chris O’Connor and colleague Cr Geoff Smith said motorists incorrectly blamed the shire for the deteriorating condition of the route which is a popular link between the Princes and Hamilton highways, especially for drivers wanting to avoid roadwork on the Princes Highway east of Winchelsea.
Short-term repair work was being planned to ensure safety and access were maintained, VicRoads regional manager William Tieppo said.
“VicRoads is developing a proposal to upgrade the Foxhow Road corridor and this will be considered for funding in a future roads program,” he said.
Councillors O’Connor and Smith said there had been community suggestions for truck traffic to be restricted until the road was upgraded, but acknowledged this could be done only by VicRoads which has the route marked as suitable for B-doubles.
Further south near the Camperdown racecourse the roads authority has promised to resurface a dangerous 200-metre section of the Camperdown-Ballarat Road where several vehicles have lost traction in recent months.
It too has a 60km/h restriction.
Mr Tieppo said about 600 vehicles a day used the route, including about 150 trucks.
The roads authority also revealed inspections were carried out fortnightly and gravel shoulders were graded “approximately every couple of months”.
“Over the past few weeks there has been an increase in pothole patching and minor road repairs due to wet weather,” he said.
“In most cases maintenance crews are able to carry out repairs quickly after a hazard is reported.
“VicRoads annual maintenance prioritisation process is based on minimising risks now and into the future and maximising service to the community in the most cost-effective manner.
“Our highest priority for managing roads is to ensure that safety and access is maintained.”
Mr Tieppo urged drivers to obey speed limits, adapt to weather conditions, turn headlights on and leave adequate space between vehicles ahead.
The road hazards reporting number is 13 11 70.