GLENELG Shire Council has pledged to remain “shovel- ready” to undertake work on the Condah Hotspur Upper Road despite officers admitting that all funding options have been exhausted.
The condition of the road is not suitable for vehicles travelling in opposite directions to move over and pass.
In a report to last week’s council meeting, councillors were advised that ground conditions were wet and any vehicle moving from the sealed pavement could get bogged.
The options for the short-term use of the road include: consideration being given to upgrade the road shoulders at strategic locations to enable vehicles to pass, making the road one-way only and placing a load limit on it. The report said the lack of funding from the federal government was stalling the critical upgrade.
It appears the council has exhausted all funding options, but will continue to investigate possible sources.
The councillors adopted recommendations to continue pushing for an upgrade, to progress all pre-construction activities and pursue actions to address the immediate needs of the road. An application has been made to VicRoads to consider implementing an 80km/h zone, for which traffic counts have been done, while potential short-term upgrades are being considered.
In September last year the council was unsuccessful in gaining $4.95 million in federal funding and last month was informed another federal application for $2.475 million had also been knocked back. During the past three years the council has spent $1.143 million on upgrading and maintenance work.
The council has also actively called on the state government to honour a better roads funding commitment to ensure the Glenelg shire shared in $1 million allocated for timber-impacted roads.
The upgrade has wide support in south-west Victoria and the south-east of South Australia from municipalities, industry, the Department of Transport and Port of Portland.
The council could also also reconsider its timber road funding application for up to $1 million a year for the road, but that would involve a long staged program and impact on other roads on that program.