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A VICROADS investigation into the condition of south-west roads is under way after sustained pressure by larger trucks on some thoroughfares.
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South-west mayors have welcomed road works activity by the state’s road authority and claimed much more needed to be done to mitigate the damaged caused by increased heavy vehicle usage.

Heywood-Woolsthorpe Road and the Hamilton Highway have been cited as glaring examples of damage to the region’s roads due to wind farm development works.

VicRoads acting south-west region director Scott Lawrence acknowledged the Heywood-Woolsthorpe Road and other arterial links had been affected by construction traffic for wind farms.

He said the roads corporation had been managing safety on the south-west link through additional maintenance, grading, signing and speed limit reductions.

“VicRoads is currently undertaking investigations to determine the most effective long-term treatment to roads affected by this increased heavy traffic associated with energy development in the south-west region of Victoria,” Mr Lawrence said. Moyne mayor Jim Doukas said VicRoads workers based in the south-west were well aware of the problems faced by the region’s motorists.

However, he added that calls from regional management were largely ignored by VicRoads senior management and the state government.

“Blind Freddy could see that there are plenty of poorly-maintained roads around the region and VicRoads people based in this area know that,” Cr Doukas said.

“But once the word gets to Spring Street or the financial managers at VicRoads — it’s usually put on hold for another time while the roads continue to crumble.”

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Southern Grampians mayor Bob Penny said south-west Victoria contained more sealed kilometres of highway and main roads than any other region in the state.

“I noticed over the weekend that there’s been some planning and survey works conducted in Tarrington and other places, so it’s good to see that taking place,” Cr Penny said. “Having said that, these survey works need to be followed up with funding from the state because councils cannot maintain major roads without noticeable support.”

The Standard reported last week that VicRoads had placed temporary speed restriction signs to slow traffic down to either 40km/h or 70km/h along eroded sections of the Heywood-Woolsthorpe Road.

Broadwater farmers Trevor and Jodi Fry claimed there had been six accidents in three weeks along the road near their property.

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