HUNDREDS of tourists will be redirected away from the Great Ocean Road as the tourist route is shut down for major roadworks.
Road authority workers will operate around the clock next month to replace a large drainage system between Kennett River and Wye River.
The winding section of road will be out of action for four days from August 24, causing disruption to traffic flow between Lorne and Apollo Bay.
VicRoads regional director William Tieppo said the work was necessary to prevent further damage to the antiquated piping.
He said the Wye River work was likely to be the largest project out of a $50 million state-federal package to improve the Great Ocean Road.
Cash has already been allocated to the Allansford section of the road. Other projects between Port Campbell and Warrnambool are expected to be revealed within the next six months.
“The work that has to take place on the drain requires a trench 13 to 15 metres wide, so it’s a big project,” Mr Tieppo said.
“We’ll be working 24 hours a day for the full four days, so the job will be completed in the shortest time possible.
“Alternatives such as pipe jacking and temporary bridges have been looked at as a way of maintaining traffic flow but unfortunately they’re not possible so we’ve had to go down the path of road closure.”
Tourism authorities, bus operators and Otway region have been advised of the closure.
Information sessions will be held by VicRoads at Wye River Surf Life Saving Club on August 3 at 10am, the Apollo Bay Hotel on August 5 at 5pm and the Lorne Senior Citizens’ Centre on August 7 at 5pm.
During the closure, motorists travelling east from Apollo Bay to Lorne will be diverted along Forrest-Apollo Bay Road towards Birregurra and the Princes Highway.
Motorists travelling west from Lorne to Apollo Bay will be diverted along the Deans Marsh-Lorne Road towards Winchelsea or Birregurra and the Princes Highway.